With increasing interest in assessing the health or well-being of communities and ecosystems, birds are being used as bioindicators. Colonially nesting species breed mainly in coastal areas that are also preferred for human development, exposing the birds to various pollutants. In this paper concentrations of heavy metal and selenium in the feathers of Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) nesting in several colonies from Massachusetts to Delaware are reported. There were significant differences among colonies for all metals, with metal concentrations being two to nearly five times higher at some colonies than others. Selenium showed the least difference, and cadmium showed the greatest difference among sites. Concentrations of lead were highest at Prall's Island; mercury was highest at Shinnecock, Huckleberry and Harvey, and manganese was highest at Captree.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science(all)
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Heavy metals
- Herring gulls