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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2008 Oct;55(3):496-502. doi: 10.1007/s00244-007-9125-y. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

Patterns and trends of chlorinated hydrocarbons in nestling bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) plasma in British Columbia and Southern California.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada.


Patterns and trends of chlorinated hydrocarbons were assessed in bald eagle nestling plasma from sites along the west coast of North America. Eagle plasma was sampled from four areas in southwestern British Columbia (BC), a reference site in northern BC, and from Santa Catalina Island, off the coast of California. Sites were chosen to reflect variation in contaminant exposure due to differing recent and/or historic anthropogenic activities. Santa Catalina Island had significantly greater mean concentrations of p,p'-DDE, 41.3 microg/kg wet weight (ww), than other sites, and Nanaimo/Crofton, BC had the greatest mean concentration of total PCBs, 28.9 microg/kg ww. Contaminant levels measured in 2003 in BC were compared to levels measured in 1993; over that ten year span, concentrations and patterns of chlorinated hydrocarbons have not significantly changed. There were no significant differences in levels of p,p'-DDE or hexachlorobenzene between 1993 and 2003, but significant decreases were found for trans-nonachlor and PCBs at BC sites. Levels of total PCBs and trans-nonachlor in the central Fraser Valley and Nanaimo/Crofton area have significantly decreased. Mean concentrations of p,p'-DDE measured in bald eagle nestling plasma samples in 2003 exceeded published criteria for effects on bald eagle reproduction at Santa Catalina Island and Barkley Sound, more than 30 years since heavy usage restrictions were imposed.

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