Notes on Little Egret breeding biology and on mercury content in egg shells and feathers

Loris Pietrelli, Massimo Biondi

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Data regarding the breeding biology and mercury concentration in egg shells and feathers of Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, collected since 2001 in the Tarquinia Salt-pans (Italy), are reported. The average number of breeding pairs was 20.5 with 2.92 hatched young per pair. Many fish species such as Aphanius fasciatus and Atherina boyeri were found in the diet. The hydrology of the saline ecosystem and disturbance by human activities play a major role in determining foraging habitat and reproductive success. The total Hg concentration ranged from 0.026 to 0.200 μg g-1and from 0.41 to 9.64 μg g-1dry weight in the egg shells and feathers, respectively. Eggshell thickness was not significantly correlated with Hg concentration. © 2009 Springer-Verlag Italia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219 - 224
Number of pages6
JournalATTI Della Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei Rendiconti Lincei Scienze Fisiche E Naturali
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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