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SEABIRD TISSUE ARCHIVAL AND MONITORING PROJECT: Egg Collections and Analytical Results for 2002-2005



Stacy S. Schuur, Paul R. Becker, Russell D. Day, Michael B. Ellisor, Aurore Guichard, Amanda J. Moors, David Point, Rebecca S. Pugh, David G. Roseneau


The Seabird Tissue Archival and Monitoring Project (STAMP) has continued to collect and bank murre and gull eggs to obtain new information on chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), brominated flame retardants, mercury, and organotin (butyltin) compounds in Alaska’s marine environments. Between 2002 and 2005 781 murre and gull egg clutches were banked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Marine Environmental Specimen Bank using established protocols. Analyses of 129 clutches confirmed the presence of geographic contaminant patterns in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. They also verified that persistent organic pollutant (POP) and mercury levels in Gulf of Alaska murre eggs differed from Bering and Chukchi sea levels, and suggested that POP patterns were similar in gull eggs (regional differences in mercury were not present in the gull eggs). Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organotins were documented in Alaskan seabird eggs for the first time. Evidence was found that some POPs (e.g., DDT) declined in murre eggs over the last 30 years and that others may also be declining (PCBs and HCBs at St. Lazaria Island). Mercury levels in murre eggs were similar to values reported from other parts of the world. Geographic patterns in organotins in murre eggs differed from POPs and mercury patterns found in the same eggs. Levels were higher in the Gulf of Alaska and Chukchi Sea than in the Bering Sea. Organotin values in murre eggs were also about 2.5 times higher and less variable than the levels in gull eggs, a difference that probably reflects differences in foraging habitats and strategies.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7562
Report Number


organic contaminants, mercury, butyltins, seabird, eggs, Alaska


Schuur, S. , Becker, P. , Day, R. , Ellisor, M. , Guichard, A. , Moors, A. , Point, D. , Pugh, R. and Roseneau, D. (2009), SEABIRD TISSUE ARCHIVAL AND MONITORING PROJECT: Egg Collections and Analytical Results for 2002-2005, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created February 5, 2009, Updated November 10, 2018