Journal Article Mercury concentrations in primary feathers reflect pollutant exposure in discrete non-breeding grounds used by Short-tailed Shearwaters

Watanuki, Yutaka  ,  Yamamoto, Takashi  ,  Yamashita, Ai  ,  Ishii, Chihiro  ,  Ikenaka, Yoshinori  ,  Nakayama, Shouta M. M.  ,  Ishizuka, Mayumi  ,  Suzuki, Yuya  ,  Niizuma, Yasuaki  ,  Meathrel, C. E.  ,  Phillips, R. A.

156 ( 3 )  , pp.847 - 850 , 2015-07 , Springer
We measured mercury concentrations ([Hg]) and nitrogen stable isotope ratios (delta N-15) in the primary feathers of Short-tailed Shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) that were tracked year-round. The [Hg] were highest in 14 birds that used the Okhotsk and northern Japan Seas during the non-breeding period (2.5 +/- A 1.4 mu g/g), lowest in nine birds that used the eastern Bering Sea (0.8 +/- A 0.2 mu g/g), and intermediate in five birds that used both regions (1.0 +/- A 0.5 mu g/g), with no effects of delta N-15. The results illustrate that samples from seabirds can provide a useful means of monitoring pollution at a large spatial scale.

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