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Seasonal Variation of Persistent Organochlorine Accumulation in Birds from Lake Baikal, Russia, and the Role of the South Asian Region as a Source of Pollution for Wintering Migrants

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journal contribution
posted on 19.02.2002, 00:00 by Tatsuya Kunisue, Tu Binh Minh, Kayo Fukuda, Mafumi Watanabe, Shinsuke Tanabe, Alexei M. Titenko
Concentrations of persistent organochlorines (OCs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites (DDTs), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), and chlordane compounds (CHLs) were determined in whole body soft tissue homogenates and in muscles of resident and migratory birds collected from Lake Baikal, Russia. The residue pattern in both resident and migratory birds was in the following order:  PCBs > DDTs > HCHs > CHLs. OC concentrations in migratory birds varied, depending on the feeding habit. The maximum levels of OCs were found in piscivores, followed by insectivores, omnivores, and herbivores. OC residue levels in Lake Baikal birds were lower than those in the Great Lakes region as well as in other lakes in Europe and Japan. Concentrations of HCHs and DDTs in most of the migratory birds collected in the spring were higher than for those collected in the autumn, indicating a notable accumulation in wintering grounds. Compilation and analysis of the available data in fish and birds from Asia suggested that the tropical and subtropical regions in south Asian countries may be a source of pollution for the wintering accumulation of migratory birds from Lake Baikal. Relatively higher compositions of α- and γ-HCH in total HCHs, p,p‘-DDT in total DDTs were observed in some migratory species, indicating recent exposure to HCHs and DDTs in Lake Baikal or wintering areas. PCB isomer patterns were different between residents and migrants, with the predominance of lower chlorinated congeners in migratory species, suggesting recent PCB accumulation in stopover sites during wintering. TEQ concentrations of toxic non- and mono-ortho coplanar PCBs in common terns from Lake Baikal were comparable to those reported in some species from Japan, the United States, and Europe. Relative contributions of non-ortho coplanar congeners to toxic equivalents (TEQs) were predominant, in which CB-126 accounted for the highest toxicity contribution. Estimated TEQ concentrations in the common tern from Lake Baikal exceeded the levels associated with enzyme induction in bald eagles. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study showing the seasonal variations of OC accumulation in the birds from Lake Baikal.