PW02 Wildlife as Ecological Receptors at Hazardous Waste Sites
Exhibit Hall
8:00 AM - Wednesday, 12 November 2003

(PW045) PCB Contamination of Common Snapping Turtle Eggs from the Hudson River, New York.

Balk, C.1, Steinbacher, J.2, Jahn, K.3, 1 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Gloversville, NY, USA2 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD, USA3 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cortland, NY, USA

ABSTRACT- Past and continuing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have contaminated natural resources of the Hudson River, New York. The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees are conducting a natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to assess and restore those natural resources injured by PCBs. In June 2002, as part of the NRDA, the Trustees collected eggs from common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) from various sites along the Hudson River. Snapping turtle eggs were collected from a total of 42 nests or turtles from the Hudson River between Hudson Falls, New York and Lower Schodack Island, New York, and from 17 nests or turtles from reference areas. The egg samples were analyzed for PCB contamination and percent lipids. Total PCBs (as sum of homologues) in Hudson River snapping turtle egg samples ranged from about 70 parts per billion (ppb) to about 31,800 ppb (wet weight basis). PCB concentrations in snapping turtle egg samples tend to display a decreasing concentration gradient moving downstream from Hudson Falls to Lower Schodack Island. Total PCBs in snapping turtle egg samples from reference areas ranged from about 10 ppb to about 565 ppb.

Key words: common snapping turtle, polychlorinated biphenyls, Hudson River, wildlife

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