Mercury in migrating shorebirds in the illinois river valley

Jeffrey M. Levengood, Randolph V. Smith, David A. Gay, Mark A. Davis, Joshua D. Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatic mercury concentrations of Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidns melanotos) and Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) collected from the central Illinois River Valley, Illinois, during early fall migration in 2007 were examined. Mean and median mercury concentrations were significantly greater in the livers of Pectoral Sandpipers (0.30 and 0.28 μg/g wet weight, respectively) than in Killdeer (0.07 and 0.06 μg/g wet weight, respectively). Differences in foraging ecology between these species likely account for the observed differences in tissue mercury concentrations. In general, mercury concentrations were low in these species relative to other shorebirds and can serve as baseline for future monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Calidris melanotos
  • Charadrius vociferous
  • Illinois river
  • Killdeer
  • Liver
  • Mercury
  • Pectoral sandpiper
  • Shorebirds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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