MEPS 546:263-269 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11669

Feather mercury concentration in streaked shearwaters wintering in separate areas of southeast Asia

Yutaka Watanuki1,*, Ai Yamashita1, Mayumi Ishizuka2, Yoshinori Ikenaka2, Shouta M. M. Nakayama2, Chihiro Ishii2, Takashi Yamamoto1,3, Motohiro Ito3, Tomohiro Kuwae4, Philip N. Trathan5

1Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Minato-cho 3-1-1, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan
2Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita-18 Nishi-9, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan
3National Institute of Polar Research, Midori-cho 10-3, Tachikawa 190-8518, Japan
4Port and Airport Research Institute, Nagase 3-1-1, Yokosuka 239-0826, Japan
5British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We measured mercury concentration ([Hg]) and nitrogen stable isotope values (δ15N) in tail feathers that were replaced during the non-breeding period of streaked shearwaters Calonectris leucomelas that bred on 3 islands in Japan. The birds’ year-round movements were tracked and their breeding status was monitored. [Hg] was greater in males than in females, and was greatest in those birds spending their non-breeding period in the South China Sea (3.1 ± 1.5 µg g-1 dry weight), moderate in birds in the Arafura Sea (1.5 ± 0.7 µg g-1), and lowest in birds in the Pacific Ocean north of New Guinea (0.8 ± 0.4 µg g-1). Adverse effects of feather [Hg] on breeding status were not observed. This regional variation in feather [Hg] might partly reflect differences in the intake of Hg between these non-breeding areas in addition to accumulation during the late breeding period and the southward migration period.


KEY WORDS: Geolocator · Migration · δ15N · Breeding


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Cite this article as: Watanuki Y, Yamashita A, Ishizuka M, Ikenaka Y and others (2016) Feather mercury concentration in streaked shearwaters wintering in separate areas of southeast Asia. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 546:263-269. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps11669

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