Reproductive Success of Herring Gulls as an Indicator of Great Lakes Water Quality
This symposium focuses on analytical chemistry whereas this paper discusses the effects of environmental contaminants on a single species of bird, the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus). This can be defended on the grounds that the reason for doing analytical work on the aquatic environment is to further our understanding of the effects chemicals exert on living systems. In a highly technological society man-made compounds are going to escape into the environment and some of them, or their metabolites, are going to persist for appreciable lengths of time. Since we cannot ban all such compounds the challenge for environmental toxicologists is to find out which of these compounds are really causing problems and which are not. The end point of a surveillance programme is not a list of levels of pollutants in various parts of the biota, but a knowledge of the effects that those pollutants are causing in the environment. The problem is very complex because of the large number of species and the large number of pollutants involved.
KeywordsGreat Lake Herring Gull Canadian Wildlife Colonial Bird Larus Argentatus
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