Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), a nonprofit ecological research group based in Portland, Maine, conducts innovative wildlife science worldwide.
BRI’s Center for Mercury Studies plays a lead scientific role in understanding the exposure and effects of mercury on wildlife in New England, North America, and around the world. The Center for Waterbird Studies is dedicated to assessing current and emerging threats to waterbirds. The programs in our Center for Ecology and Conservation Research aim to understand the workings of wildlife and their habitats while exploring how ecological stressors affect different species and ecosystems.
Below is an archive of our news releases. For more information on any of these topics, please contact our communications department.
Communications Director: Deborah McKew
BRI's research on mercury in marsh birds and Bald Eagles on the Penobscot River, Maine, was recently published in a Special Issue of the journal, Science of the Total Environment. The Special Issue, Penobscot River Mercury, compiles fifteen articles that examine trends in mercury accumulation in the environment and biota of the Penobscot River; two of these articles feature BRI's research.
The first article, Elevated mercury in blood and feathers of breeding marsh birds along the contaminated lower Penobscot River, Maine, USA, examined mercury concentrations of five species of migratory marsh birds breeding in marshes along the lower Penobscot River, and found that concentrations exceeded thresholds associated with reproductive health, and in some cases, are the highest concentrations reported to date.
The second article, Mercury concentrations in bald eagles across an impacted watershed in Maine, USA, found that mercury exposure to eagles in marine and estuarine areas potentially contaminated with mercury from a chlor-alkali plant was greater than those from reference sites spanning the Maine coast. The study also compared mercury levels in eagles from four different habitat types within the Penobscot River watershed, and found that eagle mercury differed significantly among lake, river, esturaine, and marine habitats.
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