Seabirds are key Arctic sentinel species, but susceptible for exposure to organic contaminants and their effects. The main objective of this project is to develop, evaluate, and apply a new bioaccumulation model for organic contaminants in Arctic seabirds. This will be achieved by combining the extensive knowledge on Arctic seabirds within the Fram Centre with the multimedia modelling competence at NILU. The activities during the initial year have focused on (i) developing and implementing a seabird module in an existing Arctic bioaccumulation model framework, and (ii) revising and collecting existing data and information needed for model parameterization and evaluation for the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), as it is the most data-rich Arctic seabird. In 2019, the main focus will be to evaluate the model by comparing predicted concentrations in the seabird to measured concentrations for a group of well-known organic contaminants, also to identify any remaining knowledge gaps and research needs that need to be addressed. Later, the evaluated model will be applied to scenarios of joint scientific interest, such as interesting case-studies, hypotheses or research questions. Besides the models significant stand-alone value, it may also serve as a tool to further strengthen and expand the long-term and fruitful collaboration on seabirds within the Fram Centre, as well as to inform possible future control strategies for national and international authorities involved in the regulation of chemicals.
Project manager: Ingjerd S. Krogseth
Project code: 142018