Gull eggs have been used to monitor contaminants in many parts of the world. The Seabird Tissue Archival & Monitoring Project (STAMP) is a long-term program designed to track trends in pollutants in northern marine environments using seabird eggs. Glaucous and glaucous-winged gull (Larus hyperboreous & L. glaucescens) eggs collected from seven Alaskan colonies were analyzed for organic contaminants. Concentrations ranged from below detection limits to 322 ng g-1 wet mass in one egg for 4,4'-DDE and differed among the samples collected in the Gulf of Alaska & Bering & Chuckchi Seas. Chick growth and survival rates may be affected by the contaminant levels found in the eggs, but the eggs should be safe for human consumption if they are eaten in small quantities. STAMP plans to continue collecting and banking gull eggs for future real-time & retrospective analyses.
Citation: Environmental Pollution
Pub Type: Journals
organic contaminant, Glaucous gull, glaucous-winged gull , seabird egg, subsistence food