Ecotoxicology

, 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.
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Osprey Metals Florida Bay 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. Becker PH, Henning D, Furness RW (1994) Differences in mercury contamination and elimination during feather development in gull and tern broods. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 27:162–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braune BM, Gaskin PE (1987a) A mercury budget for the Bonaparte’s gull during autumn moult. Ornis Scand 18:244–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Braune BM, Gaskin PE (1987b) Mercury levels in Bonaparte’s gulls (Larus philadelphia) during autumn molt in the Quoddy region, New Brunswick, Canada. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 16:339–549Google Scholar
  4. Burger J, Gochfeld M (1997) Risk, mercury levels, and birds: relating adverse laboratory effects to field biomonitoring. Environ Res 75(2):160–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burger J, Gochfeld M (1999) Interspecific and locational differences in heavy metal levels in four species of birds near Sydney, Australia. Environ Monitor Assess 58:105–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Burger J, Gochfeld M (2000) Metal levels in feathers of 12 species of seabirds from midway atoll in the northern Pacific Ocean. Sci Total Environ 257:37–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Burger J, Rodgers JA Jr, Gochfeld M (1993) Heavy metal and selenium levels in endangered wood storks Mycteria americana from nesting colonies in Florida and Costa Rica. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 24:417–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cahill TM, Anderson DW, Elbert RA, Perley BP, Johnson DR (1998) Elemental profiles in feather samples from a mercury-contaminated lake in central California. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 35:75–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DesGranges JL, Rodrigue J, Tardif B, Laperle M (1998) Mercury accumulation and biomagnification in ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) in the James Bay and Hudson Bay Regions of Québec. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 35:330–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Evans DW, Crumley PH (1999) Origin of elevated mercury concentrations in fish from eastern Florida Bay. In: Florida Bay and Adjacent Marine Systems Science Conference, Key Largo, Florida, November 1999Google Scholar
  11. Evers DC, Kaplan JD, Meyer MW, Reaman PS, Braselton WE, Major A, Burgess N, Scheuhammer AM (1998) Geographic trend in mercury measured in common loon feathers and blood. Environ Toxicol Chem 17:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frederick PC, Spalding MG, Sepulveda MS, Williams GE, Nico L, Robins R (1999) Exposure of great egret (Ardea albus) nestlings to mercury through diet in the everglades ecosystem. Environ Toxicol Chem 18:1940–1947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Furness RW, Camphuysen K (1997) Seabirds as monitors of the marine environment. ICES J Marine Sci 54:726–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gochfeld M, Gochfeld DJ, Minton D, Murray BG Jr, Pyle P, Seto N, Smith D, Burger J (1999) Metals in feathers of bonin petrel, Christmas shearwater, wedge-tailed shearwater, and red-tailed tropicbird in the Hawaiian Islands, Northern Pacific. Environ Monitor Assess 59:343–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodman LR, Lewis MA, Macauley JM, Smith R Jr, Moore JC (1999) Preliminary survey of chemical contaminants in water, sediment, and aquatic biota at selected sites in Northeastern Florida Bay and Canal C-111. Gulf Mex Sci 17:1–16Google Scholar
  16. Henny CJ, Ogden JC (1970) Estimated status of osprey populations in the United States. J Wild Manage 34:214–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hughes KD, Ewins PJ, Clark KE (1997) A comparison of mercury levels in feathers and eggs of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in the North American Great Lakes. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 33:441–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hunsaker CT, Carpenter DE, Messer J (1990) Ecological indicators for regional monitoring. Bull Ecol Soc Am 71:165–172Google Scholar
  19. Irwin RJ, Mouwerik MV, Stevens L, Seese MD, Basham W (1997) Environmental contaminants encyclopedia. National Park Service, Water Resources Division, Fort Collins, Colorado. Distributed within the Federal Government as an Electronic Document. Available online at: http://www.nature.nps.gov/hazardssafety/toxic/vanadium.pdf
  20. Kushlan JA, Bass OL Jr (1983) Decreases in the Southern Florida osprey population, a possible result of food stress. In: Bird DM (ed) Biology and management of bald eagles and ospreys. Harpell Press, Sainte Anne de BellevueGoogle Scholar
  21. Poole AF (1989) Ospreys a natural and unnatural history. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Robblee MB, Clement G, Smith DeWitt, Halley R (2000) Salinity patterns in Florida Bay: a synthesis. Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference, NaplesGoogle Scholar
  23. Robertson WB Jr (1995) Breeding populations of bald eagles and ospreys in Florida Bay. Florida Bay Science Conference: a report by principle investigators. Available online at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/flbay/mari95.html
  24. Solonen T, Lodenius M, Tulisalo E (1999) Metal levels of feathers in birds of various food chains in southern Finland. Ornis Fennica 76:25–32Google Scholar
  25. Thompson DR, Furness RW, Monteiro LR (1998) Seabirds as biomonitors of mercury inputs to epipelagic and mesopelagic marine food chains. Sci Total Environ 213:299–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. United States Geological Service (USGS) (2004) Wildlife and contaminants online: biological and ecotoxicological characteristics of terrestrial vertebrate species residing in estuaries. Available online at: http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bioeco/osprey.htm
  27. Walsh PM (1990) The use of seabirds as monitors of heavy metals in the marine environment. In: Furness RW, Rainbow PS (eds) Heavy metals in the marine environment. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  28. Wienmeyer SN, Bunck KMC, Krynitsky AJ (1988) Organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and mercury in osprey eggs—1970–79—and their relationships to shell thinning and productivity. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 17:767–787CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations