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Document Title:

An Investigation of Trace Element Contamination at Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge

AUTHOR(S):
Kim Dickerson Pedro Ramirez Jr


REPORT NUMBER:
R6/707C/93
PAGES:
1 - 29

PUBLICATION DATE: 1993

ABSTRACT:
Bamforth National Wildlife Refuge (Bamforth) located in southeast Wyoming serves as an important resting area for several species of migratory waterbirds. Surveys were conducted in the summer months of 1992 to determine bird use at Bamforth. Sediment, water, and biota were collected from Bamforth to identify wetlands with potential contaminant problems that may be affecting migratory waterbirds. Mercury and lead in water samples were above criteria for the protection of aquatic life. Selenium levels in vegetation and sediment were elevated above concentrations documented to bioaccumulate and cause adverse reproductive effects in waterfowl. Selenium levels in waterbird eggs were slightly greater than background concentrations but no deformities in embryos were found. Arsenic concentrations in aquatic invertebrates and vegetation were elevated to levels that may be harmful to waterfowl who consume these items Water from Bamforth Lake, South Pond, and the southeast seep were hypersaline brines. Salt toxicosis in waterbirds was not observed in this study, but maintaining existing freshwater sources such as a nearby stock pond may reduce the likelihood of salt toxicosis in the numerous waterbirds that come to rest, feed, or nest at Bamforth. Periodic monitoring of trace elements and the occurrence of salt toxicosis in waterbirds at Bamforth is recommended .

PUBLISHED BY:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DOCUMENT LINK:
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/contaminants/papers/r6707c93.pdf, 4 MB

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

Mountain-Prairie Region Environmental Contaminants site

Last updated: February 13, 2013