Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 285–296 | Cite as


  • Joanna Burger


With increasing interest in assessing the health or well-being ofcommunities and ecosystems, birds are being used asbioindicators. Coloniallynesting species breed mainly in coastal areas that are alsopreferred for humandevelopment, exposing the birds to various pollutants. Inthis paper concentrations of heavy metal and selenium in the feathers ofHerring Gulls(Larus argentatus) nesting in several colonies fromMassachusetts toDelaware are reported. There were significant differencesamong colonies forall metals, with metal concentrations being two to nearly fivetimes higher atsome colonies than others. Selenium showed the leastdifference, and cadmium showed the greatest difference among sites. Concentrations of lead werehighest at Prall‘s Island; mercury was highest at Shinnecock,Huckleberry andHarvey, and manganese was highest at Captree.

herring gulls heavy metals selenium feathers bioindicator mercury lead cadmium chromium manganese 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanna Burger
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Rutgers University and Nelson Biological LaboratoriesRutgers UniversityPiscatawayU.S.A

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