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Seasonal changes in organochlorine compounds and mercury in common terns of Hamilton Harbour, Ontario


This study has shown that the concentration of organochlorine substances in Common Terns and their eggs can vary considerably during a single breeding season. Similarly the levels of mercury in the breast muscle of adult Common Terns varied with time but levels in the eggs did not vary through the breeding season. It is concluded that the organochlorine substances reported in this paper and the mercury were mainly ingested in the vicinity of the colony. Studies of residues and breeding success of fish-eating birds, which may be affected by pollutants, should take account of such seasonal variation in organochlorine and mercury substances which occurs amongst colonies of birds nesting in contaminated environments.

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Gilbertson, M. Seasonal changes in organochlorine compounds and mercury in common terns of Hamilton Harbour, Ontario. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 12, 726–732 (1974).

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  • Waste Water
  • Mercury
  • Water Management
  • Water Pollution
  • Seasonal Variation