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Study: Contaminants in Bald Eagle Carcasses from Maine

Date Posted: September 5, 2009

Over the last three decades, the Maine bald eagle population has grown substantially. Over time these birds die from natural or other causes, and carcasses are recovered whenever possible. Since 2006, fifty livers have been extracted from bald eagle carcasses and submitted for contaminant analysis. Many of these birds were banded shortly after birth and provide valuable information on contaminant burdens in known-age birds. Preliminary results indicate that mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls accumulate to very high levels in some birds. The final round of liver extractions for the study was completed in February 2008 and a final report should be completed by 2010. Collaborators in the project include the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Penobscot Indian Nation, FPL Energy Maine Hydro, and the BioDiversity Research Institute.

Maine Field Office, Environmental Contaminants Program 207/827-5938

Maine Field Office Environmental Contaminants Program

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Penobscot Indian Nation

BioDiversity Research Institute

Last updated: June 12, 2015