Document Detail

Reproductive success and chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination of resident great blue herons (Ardea herodias) from coastal British Columbia, Canada, 1977 to 2000.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12521109     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Over the period 1977-2000, eggs of Pacific great blue heron (Ardea herodias fannini) were collected from 23 colonies along the southern coast of British Columbia, Canada, and analyzed for persistent organochlorine (OC) pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Concentrations of OC pesticides in eggs declined sharply in the late 1970s, after which there were minimal changes. The sums of PCB congeners were not reduced appreciably during the 1980s and 1990s, but Aroclor 1260 concentrations suggested a sharp decline in PCB contamination of eggs in the late 1970s, similar to that shown for OC pesticides. Eggs collected along or near the Fraser River delta showed higher levels of most pesticides compared to other monitored colonies. Although the delta lands support a long-standing agricultural economy, the primary factors influencing OC levels in the delta colonies were thought to be driven by estuarine processes. We suggest two possible influencing factors were: 1) a greater rate of bioaccumulation in the estuary due to the deposition of particulates collected over a vast area encompassed by the Fraser River watershed; or 2) a higher rate of biomagnification in the estuary due to species differences at lower trophic levels of the heron food chain. Eggs from urban colonies contained higher levels of PCBs. The congener pattern was not clearly different from that observed in less contaminated eggs from rural and pulp mill-influenced colonies, except that colonies in Vancouver had greater proportions of PCB-66, suggesting a local source of Aroclor 1242. Productivity in the coastal heron colonies was highly variable over the period of study, with 71% of recorded colony-wide reproductive failures occurring in colonies near pulp mills. However, the predominant factors influencing reproductive success were probably disturbance by humans and bald eagles, combined with loss and degradation of nesting habitat, and not sublethal toxicity.
M L Harris; J E Elliott; R W Butler; L K Wilson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)     Volume:  121     ISSN:  0269-7491     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Pollut.     Publication Date:  2003  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-01-10     Completed Date:  2003-04-04     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8804476     Medline TA:  Environ Pollut     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  207-27     Citation Subset:  IM    
Lorax Environmental, 111-1634 Carmi Ave., Penticton, BC, Canada V2A 6Z1.
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MeSH Terms
Biphenyl Compounds / analysis
Birds / physiology*
British Columbia
Egg Shell / anatomy & histology
Environmental Pollutants / analysis*
Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / analysis*
Insecticides / analysis
Ovum / chemistry*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biphenyl Compounds; 0/Environmental Pollutants; 0/Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated; 0/Insecticides

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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