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Ospreys recover in Chesapeake despite pollutants

Cara J

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The Chesapeake Bay is now home to around 10,000 mating pairs of ospreys despite constant levels of some chemical pollutants in the water. “The osprey population in the Chesapeake is really at an all-time high,” said Barnett Rattner, an ecotoxicologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and co-author of a recent study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. “Things aren’t perfect but they are much better.” The researchers monitored osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nests in seven to 10-day intervals from late March through the end of July from 2011 through 2013 in regions of concern like the Anacostia, Potomac and Patapsco Rivers and the Baltimore Harbor. They collected and chemically analyzed egg samples and looked for genetic damage in blood samples taken from osprey chicks. They also counted how many osprey chicks hatched and how many fledged, and took samples from the fish the hawks eat. “We follow the fate of those sampled nests very carefully,” said Rattner, a member of The Wildlife Society. USGS researcher Rebecca Lazarus prepares to take a blood sample from an osprey fledgling in a nest on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, Delaware Bay in 2015. ©USGS He said DDT levels had “wreaked a lot of havoc” [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/ospreys-recover-in-chesapeake-despite-pollutants/

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