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Associations between regional differences in polychlorinated biphenyls and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene in blood of nestling bald eagles and reproductive productivity

Authors

  • William W. Bowerman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Pesticide Research Center, Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
    Current affiliation:
    1. W.W. Bowerman is Department of Environmental Toxicology, Clemson University, P.O. Box 709, Pendleton, SC 29670, USA
    • Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Pesticide Research Center, Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
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  • David A. Best,

    1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2651 Coolidge Road, East Lansing, Michigan 48823
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  • John P. Giesy,

    1. Department of Zoology and National Food Toxicology and Safety Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
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  • Mark C. Shieldcastle,

    1. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station, 13229 West State Route 2, Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449, USA
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  • Michael W. Meyer,

    1. Bureau of Integrated Science Services, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, USA
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  • Sergej Postupalsky,

    1. 1817 Park Lake Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53713, USA
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  • James G. Sikarskie

    1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
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Abstract

The relationship between regional reproduction rates of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and concentrations of p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE) and total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in blood plasma from nestling bald eagles was assessed. Blood was analyzed from 309 nestlings from 10 subpopulations of eagles across the Great Lakes region. Geometric mean concentrations of p,p′-DDE and total PCBs were inversely correlated to the productivity and success rates of nesting bald eagles within nine subpopulations. Nestlings eight weeks of age and older had significantly greater geometric mean concentrations of total PCBs and p,p′-DDE than nestlings less than eight weeks of age. The ability to use measurements of p,p′-DDE and total PCBs in nestling blood to determine the potential impact of these contaminants on adult nesting on a regional scale was demonstrated.

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