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Toxics 2018, 6(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics6020027

Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Cobalt, Arsenic and Selenium in the Blood of Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) from Suriname, South America: Age-related Differences in Wintering Site and Comparisons with a Stopover Site in New Jersey, USA

1
Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8082, USA
2
Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI), Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
3
New Jersey Audubon, 11 Hardscrabble Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 March 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract

It is essential to understand contaminant exposure and to compare levels of contaminants in organisms at different ages to determine if there is bioaccumulation, and to compare levels encountered in different geographical areas. In this paper, we report levels of mercury, lead, cadmium, cobalt, arsenic and selenium in the blood of semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) wintering in Suriname as a function of age, and compare them to blood levels in northbound migrants at a stopover in Delaware Bay, New Jersey. We found (1) young birds had higher levels of cadmium, cobalt, and lead than adults (after second year birds); (2) there were no age-related differences for arsenic, mercury and selenium; (3) only four of the possible 16 inter-metal correlations were significant, at the 0.05 level; (4) the highest correlation was between cadmium and lead (Kendall tau = 0.37); and (5) the adult sandpipers had significantly higher levels of cadmium, mercury and selenium in Suriname than in New Jersey, while the New Jersey birds had significantly higher levels of arsenic. Suriname samples were obtained in April, after both age classes had spent the winter in Suriname, which suggests that sandpipers are accumulating higher levels of trace elements in Suriname than in Delaware Bay. The levels of selenium may be within a range of concern for adverse effects, but little is known about adverse effect levels of trace elements in the blood of wild birds. View Full-Text
Keywords: suriname; New Jersey; mercury; selenium; molar ratios; shorebirds; semipalmated sandpiper; temporal patterns suriname; New Jersey; mercury; selenium; molar ratios; shorebirds; semipalmated sandpiper; temporal patterns
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Burger, J.; Mizrahi, D.; Tsipoura, N.; Jeitner, C.; Gochfeld, M. Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Cobalt, Arsenic and Selenium in the Blood of Semipalmated Sandpipers (Calidris pusilla) from Suriname, South America: Age-related Differences in Wintering Site and Comparisons with a Stopover Site in New Jersey, USA. Toxics 2018, 6, 27.

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