, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 616–622 | Cite as

Metal concentrations in osprey (Pandion haliaetus) populations in the Florida Bay estuary

  • Marnie J. Lounsbury-Billie
  • Gary M. Rand
  • Yong Cai
  • Oren L. BassJr.


Mercury and trace metal contamination is a concern in the Florida Bay estuary, but the effects on biological pathways are not very well understood. The analysis of mercury and trace metals (beryllium, vanadium, chromium, cobalt, nickel, copper, arsenic, cadmium, antimony, and lead) was conducted on tissues of adult and juvenile osprey (Pandion haliaetus) to examine the bioaccumulation and distribution in Florida Bay. Mercury concentrations were found at levels associated with decreased reproductive success, and no significant differences were found between adult and juvenile samples. Concentrations of other trace metals were generally below levels known to cause environmental problems. Mercury levels were particularly high in birds from central and eastern Florida Bay. In addition to mercury, vanadium was the only trace metal that showed significant geographic variation. Mercury concentrations in adult samples were comparable to levels reported in adult osprey from two other sites in North America, but concentrations in juvenile tissues were higher in Florida Bay. Although ospreys are a potential biomonitoring species for mercury contamination, further inter-population comparisons are needed, as well as additional information about the risks associated with bioaccumulation.


Osprey Metals Florida Bay 



The authors would like to thank Brian Mealey of the Institute of Wildlife Sciences, Inc., and Greta Mealey of the Miami Museum of Science Wildlife Center for contributing their time, management, and guidance for correct osprey sampling methods and retrieval. In addition, the authors thank Myron Georgiadis for contributing much needed skill and technical guidance in the trace metal research portion of this study. Gratitude goes to Paulette Johnson, Statistical Consultant, at the College of Arts and Sciences, Florida International University, for her expertise and suggestions. This research was funded by National Park Service Cooperative Agreement no. CA 5280-00-002. This is SERC contribution no. 388.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marnie J. Lounsbury-Billie
    • 1
  • Gary M. Rand
    • 1
  • Yong Cai
    • 2
  • Oren L. BassJr.
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Studies, Ecotoxicology & Risk Assessment Laboratory, Southeast Environmental Research CenterFlorida International UniversityNorth MiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistryFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Daniel Beard Research CenterEverglades National ParkHomesteadUSA

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