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Accession Number 5004074

Title Contaminant Exposure and Potential Effects on Reproduction of Ospreys Nesting in Chesapeake Bay Regions of Concern 

Project Description This is a cooperative project with staff of the Chesapeake Bay Field Office of the Fish and Wildlife
Service study that will to assess contaminant exposure and potential adverse effects on ospreys nesting on navigation markers and other fixed structures within the Chesapeake Bay. The study is being conducted in three Regions of Concern (Anacostia River, Baltimore Harbor, and the Elizabeth River), and at the South, West and Rhode Rivers near Annapolis, Maryland (presumed reference site). From each nest, a single egg will be collected and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, total PCBs and PCB congeners. Blood and feather samples from near fledging young will be collected and analyzed for heavy metals, metalloids and trace element analysis. Nest success (hatching of eggs, and fledging of young) and growth rate of nestlings will be monitored at frequent intervals to determine potential relationships between contaminant exposure and reproductive success. Exposure and potential impact of organochlorine and metal contaminants on osprey reproduction in Regions of Concern will be evaluated in relationship to other natural factors (adverse weather, predation, disease, and human disturbance) to determine the relative significance of local contamination on reproduction in this valued species. These data will also be used to monitor, rank, prioritize and potentially expedite remediation of Regions of Concern. If extreme contaminant-related effects (e.g., reproductive failure, teratogenesis) are noted in nesting osprey in these Regions, management actions might also include hazing of birds by modifying channel markers in contaminated areas to prevent nesting and provision of alternate nesting platforms in less contaminated areas. 

Keywords anacostia river, baltimore harbor, biomonitoring, chesapeake bay, elizabeth river, metals, osprey, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, potomac river 

Barnett Rattner, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center:  

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