Environmental contaminants in an osprey egg from Upper Richardson Lake, Maine.
Steven E. Mierzykowski
On July 19, 2003 an addled osprey (Pandion haliaetus) egg was collected from a nest at the northern end of Upper Richardson Lake in western Maine. The egg was analyzed by the USFWS for organochlorine compounds and trace elements. Dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other organochlorine compounds were not detected at elevated concentrations. Only one dioxin congener (2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) was detected at a concentration of 1 pg/g, fresh wet weight. Sixteen other dioxin and furan congeners were not detectable. Several dioxin-like PCBs occurred in the egg to produce a dioxin toxic equivalent (TCDD-TEQ) concentration of 29 pg/g. TCDD-TEQ concentration in the egg was well below a suggested reproductive effect level for osprey (- 136 pg/g). Total PCB and p,p'-DDE concentrations were 1.15 and 0.35 ug/g, respectively. Both concentrations were below apparent toxic effect levels. Twenty-four other organochlorine compounds were non-detectable or in the low ng/g. Mercury was detected at 0.34 ug/g. The mercury level in the Upper Richardson Lake osprey egg was elevated compared to osprey egg studies in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, but below suggested reproductive effect thresholds.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/mainecontaminants/pdf/URL_Osprey_Egg_Final_Report.pdf, 224 KB
Maine Field Office Environmental Contaminants Program