Effects of contaminants on thyroid levels in arctic kittiwakes

This study is a part of the IPY project COPOL (Contaminants in Polar Regions). COPOL is an international project aiming to study:
1) Transport and fate of contaminants to and in Polar Regions
2) Food web transfer and contaminant status of higher organisms.

The aim of this project is to look at the levels of contaminants and see if it affects the levels of thyroid hormones in Kittiwakes during the chick period.

During the breeding period the kittiwake loose body mass due to reproductive stress. One of the birds has to stay on the nest and need to metabolise bodyfat to get energy. POPs do accumulate in the fat stores of animals and metabolising these tissues release the contaminants. The project wants to see if this affects the level of hormones.

The focus in the project is on PCBs, DDTs, PFOS, brominated flame retardants and POPs and the relationship to thyroid hormones.