Legacy pollutants are declining in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) but remain higher in Faroe Islands than in Scotland

Hammer, S. , Nager, R. G. , Alonso, S., McGill, R. A.R. , Furness, R. W. and Dam, M. (2016) Legacy pollutants are declining in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) but remain higher in Faroe Islands than in Scotland. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 97(2), pp. 184-190. (doi: 10.1007/s00128-016-1856-x) (PMID:27329112) (PMCID:PMC4942484)

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To monitor environmental pollutants in Faroese biota, samples from a top predator were analysed and put into a spatial and temporal context. Analysis of 20 Great Skua eggs sampled in 2012 from the Faroe Islands showed >70 % lower concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than in samples analysed in 1977. The 2012 Faroese eggs showed higher concentrations than for eggs in Shetland from about the same period (2008). Eggshells were analysed for sub-lethal effects but there were no detectable effects of legacy POP levels on eggshell colour or thickness. A temporal decline in legacy POPs would indicate a reduction in the general pollutant levels present in the environment as has been shown in other areas of the North Atlantic, but there are significant geographic differences in POPs levels likely due to differences in diet resulting in significantly different exposures on a relatively limited spatial scale.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hammer, Mr Sjurdur and McGill, Dr Rona and Alonso, Miss Sarah and Furness, Professor Robert and Nager, Dr Ruedi
Authors: Hammer, S., Nager, R. G., Alonso, S., McGill, R. A.R., Furness, R. W., and Dam, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
ISSN (Online):1432-0800
Published Online:21 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 97(2):184-190
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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