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Wildlife and pollution: 2000-01 Annual Report

Shore, R. F.; Malcolm, H. M.; Wienburg, C. L.; Walker, L. A.; Turk, A.; Horne, J. A.. 2005 Wildlife and pollution: 2000-01 Annual Report. Peterborough, JNCC, 49pp. (JNCC Report No.351)

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Abstract/Summary

The Wildlife and Pollution contract covers a long-term monitoring programme that examines the levels of certain pollutants in selected wildlife species in Britain. The programme was started in the early 1960s, when there were serious concerns over the effects of organochlorine insecticides and organomercury fungicides on various species of birds and mammals. This early work demonstrated the effects of the organochlorines, and eventually contributed to the ban on their use in the UK and abroad. The programme has measured levels of these compounds in predatory and fish-eating birds since then. Investigations have also been made into the levels of industrial polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), following their identification as pollutants in 1966. Mercury levels, derived from both agricultural and industrial sources, have also been tracked. In recent years, investigations have been made into the effects of the latest generation of rodenticides on barn owls Tyto alba. Northern gannet Morus bassanus eggs are also collected approximately biennially from two colonies and, when available, from other sites; eggs were collected from one site in 2000. This programme is now the longest-running of its kind anywhere in the world and the findings stimulate considerable interest internationally, as well as in Britain. Annual reports give an interim summary of results. This current report presents the results of analyses carried out on material collected in 2000. Every three years these annual results are gathered together into a more substantial report in which they are integrated with previous findings. The last report of this type covered the period up to and including 1997 (Newton et al. 1998) and is updated here. The present report summarises the long-term trends in all contaminants (except rodenticides, analysed in Shore et al. 2005) that occurred during the monitoring period up to and including the year 2000. Results are published periodically in the scientific literature, and recent key papers are listed in the references to the present report. The Wildlife and Pollution contract was the subject of scientific assessment within JNCC's rolling programme of peer review in autumn 1993 and was further assessed in 1996. As a result of the last two assessments, some monitoring was curtailed. Specifically, common kestrels Falco tinnunculus were no longer monitored for organochlorines, although from 2001 this species will be monitored annually for second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides. The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) still collects specimens for studying other contaminants as part of its core research programme. Similarly, other species (peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, common buzzard Buteo buteo, long-eared owl Asio otus, little owl Athene noctua, common kingfisher Alcedo atthis, great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus, and great bittern Botaurus stellaris) that were received in small numbers in occasional years were also not analysed routinely, although some were analysed in specific one-off studies and tissues from all birds received at CEH in 2000 are archived in deep-freeze for future potential analyses. Each section within the Wildlife and Pollution contract is summarised below. Each is dependent on the provision of material from amateur naturalists and other interested parties, and it is not always possible to obtain desired material for analysis, especially from remote areas.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals
CEH Sections: _ Ecological Risk
Funders/Sponsors: JNCC
Additional Keywords: Monitoring
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Health
Date made live: 18 Mar 2009 15:42
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6735

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