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Journal Article

Mercury in Aquatic Birds at Clay Lake, Western Ontario

K. Vermeer, F. A. J. Armstrong and D. R. M. Hatch
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1973), pp. 58-61
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3799738
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3799738
Page Count: 4

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Topics: Eggs, Ducks, Waterfowl, Herring, Food, Hatching, Crayfish, Nymphs, Lakes, Bird nesting
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Mercury in Aquatic Birds at Clay Lake, Western Ontario
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Abstract

Total mercury levels ranging from 2 to 16 ppm in eggs did not appear to affect the hatching and fledging of herring gulls (Larus argentatus). Mercury levels in breast muscles of 5 American widgeons (Mareca americana), 16 mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), 17 blue-winged teals (Anas discors), 21 common goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula), 17 common mergansers (Mergus merganser), and 7 hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) averaged 0.5, 6.1, 6.5, 7.8, 6.8, and 12.3 ppm respectively at Clay Lake 4-6 weeks prior to the hunting season in 1971. Methyl mercury in five ducks ranged from 69 to 99 percent of total mercury. Crayfish (Orconectes virilis) muscle contained the highest mercury levels of food items found in esophagi and stomachs of ducks; the high values in breast muscles of hooded mergansers are likely related to their feeding on crayfish.

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