Swedish National Environment Contaminant Monitoring of Guillemot (1991-)

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Data holding centreGeological Survey of Sweden
CountrySweden  Sweden
Time period1991 - ongoing
Geographical area

The Baltic Proper


Metal concentrations in biota; Concentration of other organic contaminants in biota; Bioassay and contaminant biological impact


The Contaminant Programme in marine biota constitutes an integrated part of the national monitoring activities in the marine environment as well as the international programmes within ICES, OSPARCOM and HELCOM. The programme is financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Most of the guillemots do not migrate further than to the southern parts of the Baltic proper during the winter season. It feeds mainly on sprat (Sprattus sprattus) and herring (Clupea harengus). The guillemot breeds for the first time at the age of 4-5 years and the egg is hatched after about 32 days. The egg content is fat (11-13%) and thus very appropriate for analysis of fat soluble contaminants i.e. hydrocarbons. Normally the guillemot lay just a single egg but if this egg is lost, it may lay another egg. It has been shown that late laid eggs of guillemot contain significantly higher concentrations of organochlorines compared to early laid eggs (Bignert et al., 1995). In this presentation only early laid eggs are included except for dioxins where the results from all collected eggs are included. 10 Guillemot eggs, collected between weeks 19-21(22), are analysed each year. Guillemot egg contents from St Karlso are analysed for mercury and organochlorines. 1995, the concentrations of Pb, Cd, Ni, Cr, Cu and Zn were analysed. The time series has also been analysed for PCC (Wideqvist et al. 1993), dioxins/dibenzofurans and polybrominated compounds (Sellstrom, 1996). Various shell parameters e.g. shell weight, thickness and thickness index is also being monitored. Also the weight of several hundreds of fledglings are normally recorded each year at St Karlso. Eggs are also being collected for some years from Bonden in the northern parts of the Bothnian Sea but only results (organochlorines) from 1991 are yet available.

OriginatorsSwedish Museum of Natural History

Anon (2000) Comments Concerning the National Swedish Contaminant Monitoring Programme in Marine Biota. Contaminant Research Group at the Swedish Museum of Natural History., Compiled by Anders Bignert

Data web site
OrganisationGeological Survey of Sweden
ContactMinna Severin (Data manager)

Geological Survey of Sweden
Villavägen 18

SE-751 28

Telephone+46 (0)18-17 90 00
Facsimile+46 (0)18-17 92 10
Collating centreSwedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute
Local identifier18014006
Global identifier115
Last revised2017-08-24