Database of Molybdenum in the Environment - Concentrations in seaducks

Occurrence of Butyltin Compounds in Tissues of Water Birds and Seaducks from the United States and Canada. 1998. K. Kannan, K. Senthilkumar, J. E. Elliott, L. A. Feyk, J. P. Giesy

Wildlife Contaminant Exposure Modeling Nov 1999

National Wildlife Research Centre, Canadian Wildlife Service

National Wildlife Research centre- Canadian Wildlife Service - Dec 1999

D.A. Bondy, M.A., Dir. C. Carver,. K. Fenton,. McDonald,

The problem of Exogenous Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals

Japan Environment Agency - May 1998

Strategic Programs on Environmental Endocrine Disruptors'98

The report concerning Exogenous Endocrine Disrupting Chemical influences on wildlife - Japan Environment Agency - May 1998

Service Proposes Temporary Approval For Tungsten Shots For Waterfowl Season

USFWS Press Release July 1998

Sea Empress Oil Spill — Tragedy for Scoters

Peter Dyrynda, Rob Symberlist - Feb 1998


Mercury in loons-Canada - Joseph J. Nocera - Atlantic Cooperative Wildlife Ecology Research Network - March 1999

Toxic chemicals Environment-Canada Toxic Chemicals Update

A Newsletter of Environment Canada - Atlantic Region

Volume 1, Issue 3, October 1997, ISSN 1206-5455

In Situ Behavioral Response of Common Loons Associated with Elevated Mercury (Hg) Exposure - Joseph J. Nocera and Philip D. Taylor 1998

Loons suffering from Mercury poisoning-magazine Canada 1998

Mercuries toll on nature Lori Haugen, Blethen Maine Newspapers

Mercury, Cadmium and Lead Concentrations in Fish Tissue - Lori Haugen, Blethen Maine Newspapers

Methylmercury Exposure And Effects In Piscivorous Birds. A. M. Scheuhammer

Proceedings Of 1995 Canadian Mercury Network Workshop

Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service 1995

Brood ecology and Female behaviour in Common Eider

Contaminants Study in Northern Labrador: Seabirds

Archives of Environmental Contamination and toxicology - Springer



Accumulation of Tributyl- and Triphenyltin Compounds in Pacific Oyster,

W. J. Shim, J. R. Oh, S. H. Kahng, J. H. Shim, S. H. Lee

Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 35:41-47 (1998)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Plan — Intertidal Community not fully recovered

Update on Injured Resources and Services - March 1999

 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Plan — Mussels not fully recovered

Update on Injured Resources and Services - March 1999

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Plan — Harlequin not fully recovered

Update on Injured Resources and Services - March 1999

Seaduck Population Decline - Is There a Contaminant Link? Contaminants and Seaducks - Session Abstracts and Summary Seaduck Population Decline

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ‘99

Charles J. Henny - USGS-Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

ABSTRACT: As the first speaker on seaducks, I will provide some background information on the seaduck group. First, the status of several species will be reviewed based upon breeding pair counts and wintering counts over the last several decades (through 1999 or 1998). These data need to be evaluated in terms of both the timing and the magnitude of the population changes. Possible causes of the population declines, other than contaminants, need to be reviewed and include (among others): (1) food availability in the oceans, bays and estuaries, (2) climate change or global warming which may affect the northern breeding grounds, and (3) localized seaduck overharvest. It also should be noted that many of the seaducks are large with delayed maturity and are biologically the least understood waterfowl. Our lack of basic biological or ecological understanding may result in misinterpreting field observations, e.g., should 90,000 scoters be seen along a relatively small portion of the southeast Alaska coast during the first week of August? Is this normal (nonbreeding subadults, although the plumage looks adult), or is this an indication of serious problems (no nesting attempts, or failed nesting

attempts). With respect to contaminants, I will review my earlier contaminant studies with scoters, and the contaminant research underway in Alaska, much of which involves lead, and discuss the potential importance of lead problems for other seaduck species.

The Sea Duck Joint Venture

Session Abstracts and Summary Seaduck Population Decline

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ‘99

Keith McAloney

Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, Sackville, New Brunswick

ABSTRACT: This presentation briefly reviews the circumstances leading up to the establishment of the Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) in November, 1998. A summary of its organizational development from March 1999 to present is provided as well as a list of SDJV Management Board members and Continental Technical Team. Ongoing projects are briefly updated. The need for studies to determine the role of contaminants in sea duck population declines is discussed as well as the opportunities for cooperative work between researchers from the toxicology group and the SDJV. Specific proposed projects are used as examples for this cooperation. An invitation is extended for an expanded role for the toxicology group in determining SDJV research priorities.

Contaminants in Surf Scoters Wintering in the Strait of Georgia

Session Abstracts and Summary Seaduck Population Decline

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ‘99

John Elliott 1, Laurie Wilson 1 , Tony Scheuhammer 2 and Suzanne Trudeau 2

1 Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, PWRC, Delta, British Columbia

2 Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, NWRC, Hull, Québec

ABSTRACT: Surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) are being studied 1) as indicators for monitoring contaminants in benthic food chains of the Strait of Georgia-Puget Sound ecosystem; 2) due to concerns about apparent long term declines in both breeding and wintering populations of the surf and other scoter species. Published data and results from re-analysis of surf scoters collected during the late 1980s to early 1990s on the BC coast were summarized. In tissues of scoters and other benthic feeders, concentrations of chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants were below criteria for concern, and were much lower than found in fish-eating species. In contrast, concentrations of heavy metals,

particularly cadmium were elevated in surf scoters, with mean kidney values in birds from the Queen Charlotte Island at 150 ppm dw. However, a strong relation between renal Cd and metallotheionein concentrations (r 2 =0.89, p,0.001) indicates a

physiological capacity to cope with elevated Cd exposure. Elevated Cd in seaducks is consist with findings on other marine birds from the Gulf of Alaska, which suggests high natural background Cd in regional food chains. Surf scoters also had elevated tissue levels of butyltin compounds, with a sample collected in 1992 from Burrard Inlet having

the highest levels in a recent North American survey (1.1 ppm ww liver). During the winter of 1998-99, we made further collections of surf scoters at two time points (December and April) and two sites, the entrance to Howe Sound and at a reference area in Baynes Sound. All specimens were weighed, measured and necropsied immediately after shooting. Tissues were collected for metal, chlorinated hydrocarbon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) analysis. Effects are being examined by evaluating morphology, histology and hepatic cytochrome P450 activity, Vitamin A and porphyrin levels. Only biomarker data are currently available. EROD activity was elevated 2.2-fold in early winter samples from Howe Sound compared to reference samples, which increased to a 4.4-fold site difference in later winter samples. The specimen with the highest individual EROD activity (354 pmol/min/mg) was the only sample that showed traces of conjugated pyrene metabolites in bile.


Cytochrome P4501A Induction In Avian Hepatocyte Cultures by

PAHs: Might Greater Scaup be at Risk from Embryotoxic Effects of PAHs?

Richard W. Jeffery, Sean W. Kennedy and Glen A. Fox

Session Abstracts and Summary Seaduck Population Decline

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ‘99

Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, NWRC, Hull, Québec

ABSTRACT: Birds metabolize polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) quite quickly, and it has generally been assumed that PAHs will not reach toxic concentrations in eggs via maternal transport during the period of egg formation. However, Lebedev and colleagues (Sci. Total Environ. (1998) 212: 153-162) recently reported high concentrations of PAHs in eggs of three species of birds collected near Lake Baikal (e.g. total PAH concentration of 2.7 ppm (wet weight) in Anas platyrhynchos). This area of Russia is highly contaminated with PAHs, and the source of PAHs in bird eggs was believed to be from PAH-contaminated invertebrates. We have hypothesized that embryos of some species of birds, including Greater Scaup (Aythya marila), might be exposed to toxicologically significant concentrations of PAHs from PAH-contaminated zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Great Lakes. As an initial step to obtaining information on the sensitivity of Greater Scaup and other avian species to embryotoxic effects of PAHs, we conducted studies to determine the sensitivity of hepatocyte cultures prepared from Greater Scaup, Pekin duck (Anas platyrhynos) and domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus) to cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) induction by 17 PAHs. There was a good correlation between embryotoxic potency and in vitro CYP1A induction potency for the PAHs tested. Greater Scaup, Pekin duck and chicken hepatocytes were approximately equally sensitive to CYP1A induction. This similarity in sensitivity to CYP1A induction is consistent with similar sensitivity of duck and chicken embryos to toxic effects of PAHs. Therefore hepatocyte cultures show promise for predicting embryotoxic potencies of individual PAHs and PAH mixtures. Studies to determine

environmental exposure of Greater Scaup embryos and other avian species that feed on PAH-contaminated invertebrates are recommended.


Physiological Characteristics and Cadmium, Mercury and Selenium

Concentrations in Common and King Eiders from the Canadian

Arctic - Mark Wayland 1, Grant Gilchrist 2, Lynne Dickson 3, Tracy Marchant 4

and Trent Bollinger 5

Session Abstracts and Summary Seaduck Population Decline

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ‘99 1 Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, P&NR, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

2 Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, P&NR, Yellowknife, Yukon

3 Environment Canada, Canadian Willdife Service, P&NR, Edmonton, Alberta

4 University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

5 Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

ABSTRACT: We examined cadmium, mercury and selenium concentrations and physiological characteristics of king and common eiders at three locations in the Canadian arctic during 1997 and 1998. Cadmium levels were higher in king eiders than in common eiders, especially in the eastern arctic at East Bay (EB) than in the western arctic at Holman (HOL). Cadmium concentrations in king eiders from EB were among the highest ever reported for eider species throughout their range. Mercury concentrations were low at all locations. Selenium concentrations were higher at HOL than at other locations. Common eiders from Belcher Islands (BI) in southern Hudson’s Bay had

concentrations of these trace elements that were similar to those at EB and somewhat lower than those at HOL. Body condition was unrelated to trace element concentrations. In king eiders, cadmium concentration was negatively correlated with spleen mass. Counts of helminth parasites were generally unrelated to trace element concentrations except for common eiders from BI where negative correlations were found. At EB, thyroid hormones in common eiders were unrelated to these trace elements. The corticosterone stress response in common eiders was positively related to cadmium

concentrations in 1998 but not in 1997. Overall, there was little evidence that these trace elements were adversely affecting these birds. Current and future studies will focus on relationships between these trace elements and body condition, stress response and immune function.

Session Abstracts and Summary Seaduck Population Decline

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ‘99 5

Session Summary

Major Points of Discussion:

· Questions were raised about the accuracy of the data pointing to large declines in seaduck populations during the past 30 to 40 years. Nevertheless, it was generally acknowledged that the weight of evidence supports a conclusion that seaduck populations have declined. It was felt that the population decline issue is complex and probably the result of a wide range of environmental factors that may differ in their importance from one region to another. Factoring in the possible importance of contaminants for any one species in any given region will be very challenging.

There was discussion about which toxic endpoints would be the most appropriate ones to examine for determining whether there was a link between seaduck population decline and contaminants exposure. Laboratory assays were thought to be useful tools for elucidating the response of seaduck species to various contaminants. However, it is necessary to interpret the results of such studies very carefully, keeping in mind the general biology of each of the various species.

Conclusions of the Session:

Using a weight-of-evidence approach, it is apparent that populations of seaducks have declined in the past 30 to 40 years. Seaducks, in general, are exposed to relatively high concentrations of certain contaminants, including cadmium, butyltins and PAHs.

Except for the specific situation in western Alaska where lead shot ingestion by eiders has contributed to mortality of adult females, the effects of contaminants exposure in seaducks remain unknown.


1. Continue examining metals and selected organic contaminants such as butyltins in seaduck species that are considered to be declining and for which there are no known causes of declines.

2. Incorporate a broad suite of health-related biomakers into field studies of seaducks. Where possible, use laboratory assays to assess sensitivity of selected seaduck species to various contaminants. Choose the laboratory species carefully, since uptake and effects of contaminants and trace elements such as selenium, in the mallard and other freshwater ducks, which are commonly-used in the laboratory, may differ widely from those in seaduck species which are rarely used in the laboratory.

3. Work closely with population biologists and ecologists involved in the Seaduck Joint Venture in order to target species and areas of greatest concern.

Behavioral toxicology of the Common Loon in the Maritimes : the value of in situ behavioral investigation. Joseph J. Nocera, Acadia University

Common Loons in Kejimkujik National Park (Nova Scotia) have the highest blood mercury levels of any tested population in North America. Also, reproductive success at this site is low compared with other populations in North America. I conducted a comparative investigation of loon behavior

across a range of lakes in Kejimkujik and the Lepreau watershed (New Brunswick). I report the first association of blood mercury burdens and

variation in loon breeding behavior. Mercury exposure may alter in situ time-activity budgets and disrupt the energetic balance of young chicks through reductions in brooding time and subsequent increases in self-maintenance activities. These effects pose obvious energetic problems for young chicks and their survivability. By identifying the negative impacts of mercury on loons in Atlantic Canada, various management initiatives may now be considered.

These initiatives, and the position of my research within the framework of

the Atlantic Region mercury investigation, shall be discussed.

Effects of chronic oil pollution on marine birds in southeastern


Francis K. Wiese, Memorial University of Newfoundland

The effects of large oil spills on seabirds has been extensively studied, yet

many important questions relating to the impact on seabird population

dynamics and the number of seabirds being killed by small amounts of oil remain unanswered. In addition, it is becoming clear that chronic effects

maybe more important to long-term population stability than occasional

spills. My study will attempt to produce a user friendly model and related techniques to estimate seabird mortality (with confidence intervals) in relation

to oil spills of known magnitude in Eastern Newfoundland, estimate the quantitative effects of oiled seabird mortality on long-term population stability's, present an improved protocol for beached bird surveys in Eastern Newfoundland, and describe oil accumulation levels in breeding seabirds. Methodologies will include beached bird surveys, autopsies, corpse persistence studies, drift block experiments, oil sample analysis, oil slick attraction to seabirds, oil spill trajectories, foot biospsies and oil spill modeling. Finally, the feasibility of rehabilitation projects will be discussed.

Environmental influences of oil and gas development in the

Arctic Slope and Beaufort Sea

Brooks, J.W.; Bartonek, J.C.; Klein, D.R.; Spencer, D.L.; Thayer, A.S.

U.S. Fish and Wildl. Serv. Resour. Publ. 96. 24 pp. 1971. Reprint: 0077

ABSTRACT: This report describes the environmental characteristics and

renewable resources of the Arctic Slope and the Beaufort Sea in relation to oil

and gas development. Problems associatedwith industrial activities are identified,

and recommendations for avoiding or minimizing environmental and

resource damage are advanced. It is noted that the simplicity of the ecosystems,

the slow rate of organic processes, and the presence of permafrost create unique

problems in connection with pollution, waste disposal, restoration of vegetation,

and all activities which disturb the vegetated surface. In the Beaufort Sea, the shallowness of the continental shelf and the presence of pack ice represent serious physical obstacles to oil development and transportation and heighten the probability of potentially harmful accidents. The risk of serious environmental and resource damage

in the Arctic will be greatly lessened by the imposition of high operational and safety standards. There is need for strengthening legal authority to promulgate essential regulations. As an interim substitute, close and effective cooperation between Government and industry must be developed. Both Government and industry

have an obligation to support research aimed at providing an adequate understanding of numerous environmental and technical questions

Wildlife Toxicology Program Science Meeting ’99 ii

National Wildlife Toxicology Program - Environment Canada

The Program

The Wildlife Toxicology Program (WTP), developed in late 1960’s, serves as the principal source of scientific knowledge and expertise in the federal

government on the impacts of toxic substances on wildlife and on the use of wildlife as indicators of environmental quality and ecosystem health.

Scope and Focus

The program considers all aspects of wildlife health but concentrates on biochemical to population level effects as well as impacts on uses of wildlife, i.e., sustainable harvest. The program also aims to develop the use of selected wildlife as indicators of

ecosystem health and damage and as early warning sentinels of potential impacts of toxic substances on humans. The species focus is primarily on migratory

birds, and to a lesser extent, on amphibians and reptiles, some mammals and plants.

General Activities

_Environmental chemistry research on identification, measurement and dynamics of

toxic substances in wildlife, their food and habitats, and identification of contaminant


Ecotoxicological research to develop and apply methods for assessing effects (biochemical to populations levels) of toxic substances on the health of migratory birds and amphibians.

Surveys and monitoring to detect and investigate wildlife health and use problems, their chemical causes and sources, and to assess the spatial / temporal trends of contaminant levels and effectiveness of control actions.

Provision of national laboratory services (e.g., biochemical and chemical analyses, tissue preparation, and specimen banking).

Preparation of assessment and other advisor documents for informing regulatory agencies and the public about the impacts of pesticides, industrial and other contaminants on wildlife, and the need for resource management intervention and protection.


An important and exciting aspect of the National Wildlife Toxicology Program is the opportunity for involvement in collaborative studies. Universities, graduate students, and other organizations with an interest in wildlife toxicology are encouraged to participate. For more information about the Program and collaborative research opportunities, please

contact the Wildlife Toxicology Unit in your area.

Pacific and Yukon Region

Tel: (604) 940-4680



Prairie and Northern Region:

Tel: (306) 975-6340



Ontario Region:

Tel: (905) 336-4843


Québec Region:

Tel: (418) 648-4657




Atlantic Region:

Tel: (506) 364-5049



National Headquarters:

Tel: (819) 997-3044


WebSite: http://www.cws-scf.