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The Little penguin (Eudyptula minor) as an indicator of coastal trace metal pollution


Finger, A and Lavers, JL and Dann, P and Nugegoda, D and Orbell, JD and Robertson, B and Scarpaci, C, The Little penguin (Eudyptula minor) as an indicator of coastal trace metal pollution, Environmental Pollution, 205 pp. 365-377. ISSN 0269-7491 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2015 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2015.06.022


Monitoring trace metal and metalloid concentrations in marine animals is important for their conservation and could also reliably reflect pollution levels in their marine ecosystems. Concentrations vary across tissue types, with implications for reliable monitoring. We sampled blood and moulted feathers of the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) from three distinct colonies, which are subject to varying levels of anthropogenic impact. Non-essential trace metal and metalloid concentrations in Little Penguins were clearly linked to the level of industrialisation adjacent to the respective foraging zones. This trend was more distinct in blood than in moulted feathers, although we found a clear correlation between blood and feathers for mercury, lead and iron. This study represents the first reported examination of trace metals and metalloids in the blood of any penguin species and demonstrates that this high trophic feeder is an effective bioindicator of coastal pollution.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:trace metal, pollution gradient, seabird sentinel, indicator species, blood, seabird, Australia, bioindicator
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:103185
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:29
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-09-24
Last Modified:2017-10-31

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