Trace element concentrations in feathers from three seabird species breeding in the Timor Sea

Jennifer L. Lavers, Emma Humphreys-Williams, Nicholas J. Crameri, Alexander L. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mobile marine predators, such as seabirds, are frequently used as broad samplers of contaminants that are widespread in the marine environment. The Timor Sea off remote Western Australia is a poorly studied, yet rapidly expanding area of offshore development. To provide much needed data on contamination in this region, we quantified trace element concentrations in breast feathers of three seabird species breeding on Bedout Island. While adult Masked Boobies Sula dactylatra exhibited some of the highest concentrations, values for all species were below toxicology thresholds for seabirds and were comparable to those reported in other closely related species. The low concentrations detected in the birds provide a valuable baseline and suggest that the local marine environment around Bedout is in relatively good condition. However, careful monitoring is warranted in light increasing anthropogenic activity in this region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110876
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume151
Early online date29 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Brown booby
  • Heavy metals
  • Lesser frigatebird
  • Masked booby
  • Offshore development
  • Western Australia

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