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Environmental pollutants in endangered vs.increasing subspecies of the lesser black-backed gull on the Norwegian Coast

Bustnes JO, Helberg M, Strann K-B, Skaare JU. Environmental pollutants in endangered vs.increasing subspecies of the lesser black-backed gull on the Norwegian Coast. Environ Pollut 2006; 144: 893-901.

Organochlorine (OC) residues were measured in eggs and blood of different subspecies of the lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus, on the Norwegian coast: a) increasing L. f. intermedius in the North Sea; b) endangered L. f. fuscus near the Arctic Circle; c) L. f. fuscus and greyish-mantled gulls, with a L. f intermedius appearance, in the Barents Sea region. The dominating OCs in lesser black-backed gulls were polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE). DDE and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH) residues were higher in L. f. fuscus compared to L. f intermedius and greyish-mantled birds in the Barents Sea region. In the latter area, blood residues of PCB and DDE in lesser black-backed gulls were as high as in great black-backed gulls, Larus marinus, while in the other regions they were lower. The higher DDE residues in endangered L. f. fuscus compared to increasing L. f intermedius and greyish-mantled birds, which are invading northern Norway, suggest that OCs may have played a role in the population decline of L. f.fuscus, possibly in combination with nutrient stress. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

NVI authors

Skåre Janneche Utne

Head of Research Department