Characterizing Contaminant Exposure of Mountain Plovers on Wintering Grounds in California and Breeding Grounds in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana : Contaminants Report Number: R6&R8/725C/11
Kim Dickerson Karen J. Nelson Catherine Zeeman
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The mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) is a shorebird that primarily inhabits dry upland sites, such as shortgrass prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes during both wintering and breeding seasons. Nesting occurs primarily in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. The birds winter in the Central and Imperial Valleys of California as well as Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. Conversion of the mountain plovers’ native grassland habitat to agricultural lands in both breeding and wintering areas has resulted in these birds using farmlands for feeding and roosting. Both the Central and Imperial Valleys report year round agriculture with over 809,400 ha (2 million acres) in production; but, these habitat preferences expose wintering mountain plovers to contaminants associated with agricultural practices, including current use pesticides and their adjuvants, persistent chemicals from historic applications, inorganic elements from irrigation drainwater, and chemicals present in the irrigation water. To evaluate the exposure of mountain plover to contaminants, we collected soil and food items at both their wintering and breeding grounds in 2006. We also collected eggs (2006-2008) to determine exposure of developing embryos to contaminants transferred by adults.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/contaminants/papers/documents/R6R8725C11.pdf, 5 MB
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Mountain-Prairie Region, Contaminants Program