Gary H. Heinz

Using a Novel Micro-sampling Technique to Monitor the Effects of Methylmercury on the Eggs of Wild Birds

Methylmercury is the predominant chemical form of mercury reported in the eggs of wild birds. The embryo is the life stage at which birds are most sensitive to methylmercury. Protective guidelines have been based largely on captive-breeding studies done with chickens (Gallus domesticus), mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus). Typically these studies are cost and time prohibitive. In the past, researchers have used either egg injections or the “sample egg” technique to determine contaminant effects on bird eggs. Both techniques have their limitations...