News Brief

Forster's Tern Has Highest PBDE Concentration

The egg of a Forster’s tern, a fish-eating seabird common in the San Francisco Bay, has been found to have 63 parts per million (ppm) of toxic PBDE flame retardants (see


Vol. 13, No. 6), the highest concentration ever found in any animal, according to a September 10, 2004

Los Angeles Times article. According to California scientists, some Forster’s tern colonies have reproduction success rates as low as 7%, posing a serious threat to their survival. It is unclear, however, how much of this difficulty is due to PBDEs; these birds also carry high concentrations of mercury and PCBs.

Published November 1, 2004

(2004, November 1). Forster's Tern Has Highest PBDE Concentration. Retrieved from

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