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Wildlife and pollution: 1997/1998 Annual Report

By I. Newton, L. Dale, J. K. Finnie, P Freestone, J. Wright, C. Wyatt and L. Wylie


The Wildlife and Pollution contract covers a long-term monitoring programme to examine the levels of pollutants in selected wildlife species in Britain. The programme was started when there were serious concerns over the effects of organochlorine insecticides and organomercury fungicides on several birds and mammals. This early work demonstrated the effects of the organochlorines, and eventually contributed to the ban on their use in this country 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 biphenys (PCBs), following their identification as pollutants in 1966. Mercury levels, derived from both agricultural and industrial sources, have also been tracked. In addition, the contract supports a wildlife incident investigation service, which can examine the causes of unexpected mortality incidents (that are not obviously related to oil pollution or to agricultural pesticides). In recent years, investigations have been made into the effects of the newest generation of rodenticides on barn owls. Gannet eggs are regularly collected biennially from two colonies and, when available, from other sites; eggs were collected from only one site in 1997. No major incidents were investigated in 1997.\ud \ud As this programme is now the longest running of its kind anywhere in the world, the findings stimulate considerable interest internationally, as well as in Britain. Annual reports give an interim summary of results.Every three years these annual results are gathered together into a more substantial report (like the present one) in which they are integrated with previous findings. In addition, results are published periodically in the scientific literature. Recent key papers are listed in this report under sub-project summaries.\u

Topics: Zoology, Ecology and Environment, Health
Publisher: JNCC
Year: 1998
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