U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

Effects of methyl mercury on reproduction in American Kestrels

Albers PH, Koterba MT, Rossmann R, Link WA, French JB, Bennett RS, Bauer

Sixty breeding pairs of captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were exposed to a range of

sub-lethal dietary concentrations of MeHg in the diet and their subsequent reproduction was

measured. Egg production, incubation performance, and the number of eggs hatched

decreased markedly between 3.3 and 4.6 ppm MeHg dry weight in the diet. The percent of

eggs hatched declined between 0.7 and 2 ppm MeHg dry weight in the diet and further declined

to almost total hatching failure between 3.3 and 4.6 ppm. The number of fledglings and the

percent of nestlings fledged were markedly reduced at 0.7 ppm MeHg dry weight in the diet and

began a final sharp decline between 2 and 3.3 ppm. Dietary concentrations of >4.6 ppm MeHg

dry weight were associated with total fledging failure. The observed decline in number of fledged

young per pair (-41%) for kestrels consuming 0.7 ppm MeHg raises concerns about population

maintenance in areas subject to high inputs of anthropogenic Hg.

Friday, September 22, 2006



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