Persistent organic pollutants in feathers and blood from nestling raptors of Northern Norway: linkage to stable isotopes and specific ecology
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
, p. 1049-1054
University of Antwerp
As part of an ongoing project to assess the impact of organic pollutants and biological stressors on the fitness and survival of avian top predators in different northern ecosystems, we collected body feathers and blood samples from nestlings of three different raptor species. Here we investigate the concentrations and profiles of POPs in blood and feathers, the relationships between them and their relation to trophic position (determined by stable isotopes) and ecology. We found that concentrations of most POPs could be quantified in feathers from nestlings, with p,p-DDE and sum PCBs as the most important compounds. Concentrations in feathers were significantly related to concentrations in blood in most cases. Furthermore, concentrations of POPs in feathers could also be related to concentrations of stable isotopes in the feathers, except for the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Further research is necessary to conclude on the usefulness of nestling raptor feathers for biomonitoring purposes.