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FWS and USGS Team up to Study Emerging Contaminants In Migratory Birds

Date Posted: April 15, 2009

The Fish and Wildlife Service's Environmental Contaminants Program at the Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office collaborated with U.S. Geological Survey to examine the chemical concentrations of emerging contaminants in archived Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) eggs collected in 1993 from three colonies on the Mississippi River in Minnesota. The eggs were analyzed for perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) - both families of chemicals cause concern because they are ubiquitous global environmental contaminants that are persistent, bioaccumulate, and have the potential to be toxic to organisms, yet very little is known about the toxic effects at environmental concentrations. Because these contaminants are ubiquitous in the environment and PFC manufacturing operations and landfills were in close proximity to the Upper Mississippi River, the Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office (TCFO) is concerned about potential effects to FWS trust resources. This study is the first step to obtaining valuable source, pathway, effects and trends information that is important for preventing impacts to fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats, especially migratory birds utilizing the Mississippi River corridor.

Annette Trowbridge, 612-725-3548 x202

Twin Cities Ecological Services Field Office

Last updated: June 12, 2015