, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 233-247

Metal and Trace Element Burdens in Two Shorebird Species at Two Sympatric Wintering Sites in Southern California

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Abstract

In January and November, 1994, ten willets (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) and ten black-bellied plovers (Pluvialis squatarola) were collected at a south-facing sandy beach at the North Island Naval Air Station (NASNI) and ten willets and three plovers were collected at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge (TSNWR), 16 km to the southeast. Concentrations of 19 inorganic analytes were determined in the livers. Differences between sexes in diet or abilities to retain some analytes are indicated because male willets tend to have greater levels of Cd than females and male plovers tend to have greater levels of Fe, Hg, and Mn than females. Concentrations of Hg and Mg in willets decreased from January to November. If this decrease is a part of an annual cycle, then the birds may be acquiring those elements while at NASNI. The differences between sites shows higher levels of As and Se but lower levels of Mn in willets at NASNI while plovers have lower levels of Cu, Mg and Zn at NASNI. There were no correlations between Hg and Se concentrations in the livers of any sample group of birds.