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Steller's Eider Contaminants Investigation

Date Posted: December 22, 1999

In conjunction with a larger project assessing reproductive success and habitat use in threatened Steller’s eiders (Polysticta stelleri), Service contaminants staff collected blood samples from nesting female eiders for contaminant analysis. Ingestion of lead shot is a major issue for several species of breeding eiders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, and since the arctic coastal plain around Barrow, Alaska, is the last known breeding area of Steller’s eiders in the U.S., it is important to have data on the impacts of lead on eiders in this area. Rotten and abandoned eggs were also collected for screening, to address concerns regarding potential contaminant effects on reproduction. Data will address issues discussed in the draft recovery plan for the species and help clarify risks to Alaska’s Steller’s eider population.

Contacts:

Angela Matz (907)456-0442

Links:

Lead and the Spectacled Eider (Endangered Species Bulletin January/February 1999) [pdf file]

Last updated: February 13, 2013