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St. Lawrence River AOC - BUI

Avian


Common Tern Chick
Figure 3: Common tern chick.

The St. Lawrence River Area of Concern (AOC) at Massena/Akwesasne is home to a large variety of waterbirds including osprey, bald eagle, common loon, tree swallows, gulls, common tern, black tern, herons, cormorants and others. In 2013 a secondary data review provided a summary of existing information on sentinel bird species, populations, and contaminant concentrations detailed in an Avian Interim Status Report. Also in 2013, a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) was developed to conduct field surveys and tissue analysis to address Degradation of Fish and Wildlife Populations and Bird or Animal Deformities or Reproduction Problems BUIs.

Field surveys of nest counts, productivity, and habitat quality were conducted in both 2013 and 2014, while egg collection and contaminant analysis was conducted in 2014 by Riveredge Associates. Dr. Lee H. Harper, US Chair of the Great Lakes Area Working Group on Colonial Waterbirds was the Senior Scientist for Riveredge Associates.

Contaminant analysis includes measurement for PCBs (209-congener specific), mercury, pesticides, dioixins/furans, metals (Pb, Dc, Al), and fluoride. Contaminant concentrations were compared to published literature and toxicity thresholds when available and comparison sites, primarily in the St. Lawrence River. Data results are outlined below in the Avian Status Report.

Herring gulls have been monitored since 1986 adjacent the AOC on Strachan Island by the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). 2014 chemical data of herring gulls demonstrated PCB transboundary impacts still exist in the St. Lawrence River AOC at Massena/Akwesasne, albeit in much lower concentrations than historical results. Data details of completed 2014 herring gull results can be found in the Addendum to the Avian Status Report.

NYSDEC released a Conservation Plan for Bald Eagles in New York State in March 2016. The objectives and actions of this Conservation Plan relevant to the St. Lawrence River AOC and future recommendations for bald eagles in the AOC can also be found in the Addendum to Avian Status Report.

 

2013 Secondary Data Review

  1. Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for Secondary Data Collection: Avian Habitat, Populations, Reproduction and Contaminants In and Adjacent the Massena/Akwesasne Area of Concern (February 2013)

  2. Avian Interim Status Report  (March 2013, Revised Final September 2014)
 

2013-2014 Field Studies

  1. Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) for field collection Activities for Avian Habitat, Populations, Reproduction and Contaminants In and Adjacent to the Massena/Akwesasne Area of Concern (May 2013)

  2. Avian Status Report (December 2015)

  3. Addendum to Avian Status Report (March 2017)

 


Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division Posted: 2012.08.01 Update: 2017.03.29
http://www.srmtenv.org/index.php?spec=stlawrenceriver-aoc/bui-avian