Organochlorine Contaminants in Blubber from Stranded Marine Mammals Collected from the Northern Oregon and Southern Washington Coasts: Implications for Re-introducing California Condors, Gymnogyps californianus, in Oregon

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Abstract

Re-introduction of California Condors into Oregon is currently being considered, but there are concerns about the safety of potential food sources of this species. Condors are opportunistic feeders and a largely available food source for this species will be stranded marine mammal carcasses. We analyzed 37 blubber samples from 7 different marine mammal species collected from the Oregon and Southern Washington coasts for 18 organochlorine (OC) pesticides and 16 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) was the most prevalent OC contaminant, making up more than 58 % of the total OC concentration measured. There were no significant differences in OC content between species or sexes.