Back

Document Title:

EFFECTS OF CONTAMINANT EXPOSURE ON REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF OSPREYS (PANDION HALIAETUS) NESTING IN DELAWARE RIVER AND BAY, USA

AUTHOR(S):
Peter C. McGowan Robert C. Hale B. A. Rattner P. C. Toschik Mary C. Christman David B. Carter Cole W. Matson Mary Ann Ottinger


VOLUME:
24
ISSUE:
3
PAGES:
617 - 628

PUBLICATION DATE: March 2005

ABSTRACT:
Despite serious water-quality problems and pollutant loading and retention, Delaware River and Bay (USA) provide important wildlife habitat. In 2002, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) breeding in Delaware River and Bay. Sample eggs were collected from 39 nests and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury; a subset of 15 eggs was analyzed for perfluorinated compounds and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The fate of each nest was monitored weekly. Concentrations of 10 organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, and several toxic PCB congeners were greater (p < 0.05) in eggs collected between the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C and D Canal) and Trenton (Delaware River and northern Bay) compared to other sites. Concentrations of p,p--dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p--DDE; 0.785–3.84 -g/g wet wt) and total PCBs (5.50–14.5 -g/g wet wt) in eggs collected between the C and D Canal and Trenton were similar to levels recently found in the Chesapeake Bay. In all study segments, at least one young fledged from 66 to 75% of nests. Productivity for Delaware Inland Bays (reference area) and southern Delaware Bay was 1.17 and 1.42 fledglings/active nest, respectively; north of the C and D Canal, productivity was 1.00 fledgling/active nest, which is marginally adequate to maintain the population. Using these data, a logistic regression model found that contaminant concentrations (p,p--DDE, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane and metabolites, and total PCBs) were predictive of hatching success. Several perfluorinated compounds and PBDEs were detected in eggs at concentrations approaching 1 -g/g wet weight. These findings provide evidence that contaminants continue to be a significant stressor on osprey productivity in the northern Delaware River and Bay.

PUBLICATION:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

PUBLISHED BY:
SETAC - Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

DOCUMENT LINK:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1897/04-141R.1/full, 141 KB

NOTE: This link will take you to a site outside of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We do not control the content or policies of the site you are about to visit. You should always check site policies before providing personal information or reusing content.

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

Chesapeake Bay Field Office Contaminants Program

Last updated: February 13, 2013