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BASIS #   2309TZ 12

Title Contaminant Exposure and Potential Reproductive Effects in Ospreys Nesting in Delaware River and Bay

Project Description A cooperative study between the US Geological Survey and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is underway to assess contaminant exposure and potential adverse effects on ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting within the Delaware River, Bay and Coast. From each nest, a single egg will be collected and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners, mercury and other persistent contaminants. Blood and feather samples from near fledging young will be collected and analyzed for heavy metals, metalloids and trace elements. Reproductive parameters will be monitored at frequent intervals to determine the potential relationship between contaminant exposure and nest success in this valued species. Exposure and potential impact of organochlorine and metal contaminants on osprey reproduction will be evaluated in relation to other natural factors (adverse weather, predation, disease, and human disturbance).

Keywords BEST; analytical chemistry; aquatic; biomarkers; birds; coastal; contaminants; ecosystem science; human impacts; methods development; monitoring; National Wildlife Refuges; populations; restoration; river systems; standards and protocols; status and trends; terrestrial; toxicology; wetlands; wildlife

Principal Investigator Barnett Rattner, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:

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