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PW01 Wildlife Toxicology
(PW018) Using Eagles as an Ecological Indicator of Ecosystem Health in Michigan.
Roe, A1, Wong, J1, Best, D2, Bush, D3, Sikarskie, J4, Bowerman, W1, 1 Clemson University, Pendleton, SC, USA2 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, East Lansing, MI, USA3 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Lansing, MI, USA4 Michigan State University, MI, USA
ABSTRACT- We report here the results from the first five years of a multi-year study using blood plasma of nestling bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) to measure exposure to organochlorine pesticides and PCBs through food chain transfer in the Great Lakes Region. The bald eagle is a tertiary predator of aquatic ecosystems. Testing of tissue samples of eagles integrates the exposure potential of bioaccumulative substances and has been proposed as a means of monitoring water quality and ecosystem health. During normal banding activities, blood samples were collected from nestling eagles that were between 5 and 9 weeks of age. We compared regional concentrations from interior portions of the Upper (UP) and Lower (LP) Peninsulas, and Lake Michigan (LM), Lake Huron (LH), Lake Superior (LS), Michigan, and Voyageurs National Park (VNP), Minnesota. Concentrations of PCBs and p,p'-DDE varied, but have declined among most subpopulations. Mean plasma concentrations of PCBs in nestlings from the Great Lakes territories (LS, LM, LH) were significantly greater than those from VNP or from the interior regions of Michigan. Mean p,'-DDE concentrations have also declined with the exception of LM which was significantly greater than Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
Key words: wildlife, eagles, pcbs, dde
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