Assessment of Contaminants in Waterfowl on the North Slope and Seward Peninsula, Alaska
Spectacled and Steller’s eider are listed as threatened under the ESA and the yellow-billed loon is also listed on BLM sensitive species list for Alaska. All 3 of these species have cited the potential for environmental contaminants, among other things, to have been the cause of the decline in the populations of these species. Contaminants of concern include metals such as lead and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury, which are of historical, current, and emerging concern in Arctic biota. Because of the concern for status of populations of spectacled and Steller’s eiders and yellow-billed loons in the north, and because documented threats include those from environmental contaminants such as mercury and PCBs, this project will collect and analyze samples of tissues and eggs from these 3 species on the north slope of Alaska and on the Seward Peninsula, AK, in order to determine current contaminant levels in these species and to provide a baseline of pre oil and gas development data and the opportunity for a comparison between contaminant data from the NPR-A and the Seward Peninsula. Project cooperators include the FWS – Endangered Species Branch, FWS – Contaminants Branch, NSB, and the National Park Service – Western Alaska Network.