Legacy Pollutants are Declining in Great Skuas (Stercorarius skua) but Remain Higher in Faroe Islands than in Scotland

Sjúrður Hammer, Ruedi G. Nager, Sarah Alonso, Rona A. R. McGill, Robert W. Furness, Maria Dam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To monitor environmental pollutants in Faroese biota, samples from a top predator were analysed and put into a spatial and temporal context. Analysis of 20 Great Skua eggs sampled in 2012 from the Faroe Islands showed >70 % lower concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than in samples analysed in 1977. The 2012 Faroese eggs showed higher concentrations than for eggs in Shetland from about the same period (2008). Eggshells were analysed for sub-lethal effects but there were no detectable effects of legacy POP levels on eggshell colour or thickness. A temporal decline in legacy POPs would indicate a reduction in the general pollutant levels present in the environment as has been shown in other areas of the North Atlantic, but there are significant geographic differences in POPs levels likely due to differences in diet resulting in significantly different exposures on a relatively limited spatial scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Volume97
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bioaccumulation
  • Eggshell
  • Eggshell thickness
  • Faroe Islands
  • Persistent organic pollutants
  • Stable isotope analysis

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