Jun 2, 2010

Prey species as possible sources of PBDE exposures for peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) nesting in major California cities

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
June-Soo ParkKim Hooper


Our earlier findings indicate that (1) peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus anatum Bonaparte) nesting in major California cities have among the highest polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) levels in the world (max ∑PBDEs=100 ppm), and (2) Big City peregrines have higher levels and proportions of the higher-brominated congeners (hepta- to deca-BDEs) than do their Coastal counterparts. In this study we classified the prey species (n =185) from the remains of prey (feathers) at 38 peregrine nest sites over 25 years (1974-1998). We grouped the prey species into 15 categories based on diet and found distinctly different prey patterns for Big City vs. Coastal peregrines. Big City peregrines had a higher (almost three times) weight percentage intake of food waste-eating birds (e.g., rock pigeons, Columba livia) than Coastal peregrines. These differing prey patterns suggest diet as a potential source of the unusually high levels and proportions of higher-brominated PBDEs in Big City peregrines. The relative contributions of diet and dust (e.g., preening) exposure to PBDE patterns in Big City peregrines will be explored in future investigations.

Mentioned in this Paper

Pentabromodiphenyl ether
Food Web
Encephalitis, California
Brominated Diphenyl Ethers
Phenyl ether

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