Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Polychlorinated biphenyl levels in Black-footed Albatrosses from Midway Atoll

Jun Wang (Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA) and colleagues have written in the on-line, open-access journal PLoS ONE on PCBs in Black-footed Albatrosses Phoebastria nigripes.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous in the environment.  Midway Atoll, located in the North Pacific Ocean, was occupied by the military during and after World War II.  However, Midway Atoll has become a national wildlife refuge and home to many different seabirds today, including the black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes) (BFAL).  The profiles and toxic equivalents (TEQ) of PCB congeners in the plasma and preen oil of BFAL chicks and adults were determined in this study.  The concentrations of the total PCBs in the plasma samples of chicks and adults collected in Midway Atoll ranged from 2.3 to 223.8 (mean 80.1) and 22.8 to 504.5 (mean 158.6) ng g-1 (wet weight, ww), respectively.  The TEQs ranged from 0.2 to 0.6 (mean 0.4) and 0.4 to 1.6 (mean 0.9) pg g-1 ww, respectively, in the plasma samples of chicks and adults from Midway Atoll.  The major congeners in the plasma samples of chicks and adults included PCBs 31, 87, 97, 99, 118, 138, 153, and 180, accounting for 70% of the total PCBs.  The concentrations of the total PCBs in the adult preen oil samples ranged from 1693 to 39404 (mean 10122) ng g-1 (ww), of which 97% were PCBs 105, 118, 128, 138, 153, 161, 172, and 183.

Black-footed Albatross, photograph by Cynthia Vanderlip

Reference:

Wang, J., Caccamise, S.A.L., Woodward, L.A. & Li, Q.X. 2015.  Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the plasma and preen oil of Black-Footed Albatross (Diomedea nigripeschicks and adults on Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean.  PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123041 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123041.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 01 June 2015

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