USGS at The Wildlife Society: From sea-ice change to contaminants to predators and prey

ea. Brown bears are the main predator of tundra swan nests on our study area and the density of bears on the road system was more than 3 times lower than in adjacent areas. We believe that the relatively low density of bears on the road system is a major factor in explaining the higher nest survival rates in that area. Brandt Meixell (Institute of Arctic Biology and Department of Biology and Wildlife, Univ. Alaska, Fairbanks) and Paul Flint (USGS) and others, Session 17, Monday, Sept. 25, 2006, 10:50-11:10 a.m.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure in seaducks, eastern Aleutian Islands:

As an indicator of hydrocarbon exposure, scientists measured enzyme reaction (cytochrome P450 IA induction) in Steller's eiders and harlequin ducks captured and released at industrial and non-industrial sites at Unalaska, Popof, and Unga Islands, in winters 2002-03. They also measured PCBs in seaduck bloods as a confounding factor of P450 induction, and PAHs and other organic contaminants in prey and habitat. Seaducks captured at industrial sites had high measurements of P450 induction (relative to those from non-industrial sites) that were more strongly correlated to concentrations of PAHs in invertebrate prey than PCB concentrations in the seaducks' blood. Keith Miles will discuss these and additional results from this study. Sea ducks are being studied because of evidence indicating widespread declines in this group. Pollution or exposure to environmental contaminants in wintering areas may be a potential contributing factor in these declines. Keith Miles, Session 40, Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006, 4:10 - 4:30 p.m.

Spatial and trophic variations in environmental contaminants among Aleutian Islands birds:

Persistent organochlorines and mercury are elevated throughout the coastal food chain of the Aleutian Archipelago but the sources of these contaminants are unclear. Scientists used seabirds and a terrestrial bird species alon

Contact: Catherine Puckett
United States Geological Survey

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