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Home* News and Stories → Envi­ron­men­tal toxins lead to thin­ner eggshells for Ivo­ry gulls

Envi­ron­men­tal toxins lead to thin­ner eggshells for Ivo­ry gulls

Envi­ron­men­tal toxins lead to thin­ner eggshells for Ivo­ry gulls. This is one key result of a recent stu­dy made by sci­en­tists from the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te (NPI), the Rus­si­an Ant­ar­c­tic Rese­arch Insti­tu­te (AARI) in St. Peters­burg and others. Samples were taken in Sval­bard and arc­tic Rus­sia in 2007. Com­pared with data from the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, eggshells from Spits­ber­gen and the Rus­si­an arc­tic are up to 17 % thin­ner.

Ivo­ry gulls are on top of the food chain, and long-lived envi­ron­men­tal toxins such as PCBs and DDT are accu­mu­la­ting towards the top of the food chain. The thin­ned eggshells are shown to have high con­cen­tra­ti­ons espe­ci­al­ly of DDT.

DDT was gra­du­al­ly ban­ned in many count­ries from the ear­ly 1970s onwards and is now used legal­ly only in rela­tively small quan­ti­ties to fight dise­a­ses such as mala­ria. After an ban on DDT in Nor­way, eggshell thic­k­ness of sea­birds and birds of prey reco­ver­ed again back to natu­ral values.

Ivo­ry gull in Spits­ber­gen.

Ivory gull

Source: Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the title “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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