Skip to main content

Scientists find more birds with mercury contamination in Great Lakes area

A new report is one of few to measure mercury contamination in songbirds, which rely on insects for food. Until recently, scientists believed mercury contamination was mostly a problem for aquatic birds that eat fish. The report says "the scope and intensity of the impact of mercury on fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes region is much greater than previously recognized."
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A new report is one of few to measure mercury contamination in songbirds, which rely on insects for food. Until recently, scientists believed mercury contamination was mostly a problem for aquatic birds that eat fish. The report says "the scope and intensity of the impact of mercury on fish and wildlife in the Great Lakes region is much greater than previously recognized."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 7.04.37 PM

LIVE UPDATES: Dangerous storms move through Twin Cities

We'll have live updates as the storms move through the metro.

tornado

Tornado watch issued in Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

The watch will remain in place until midnight.

Wild fox.

Wild fox in Minnesota tests positive for highly contagious avian flu

This is the first confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a wild mammal in the state, the Department of Natural Resources said.

New COVID-19 testing site in Midway neighborhood.

New COVID-19 testing site in St. Paul; 3 others to close as cases rise

Testing sites in Stillwater, Hutchinson, and St. Paul are closing as part of moves to adjust testing resources.

Screen Shot 2022-05-11 at 4.47.49 PM

St. Joseph man dies in motorcycle crash

The 27-year-old motorcyclist struck a curb, causing him to lose control before he crashed.

Downtown-Bike-Day_WS_No-logo

Downtown bike day—city biking at its best!

Move Minneapolis and ABC Ramps Mobility invite you to come along for the ride at Target Plaza on June 1, 2022

Anthony Skelley

Charges: South St. Paul teen killed during apparent marijuana sale

The individual accused of killing Skelley is a 17-year-old from St. Paul.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards among NBA stars in Adam Sandler's Netflix film, 'Hustle'

The Timberwolves point guard stars alongside other NBA players LeBron James, Trae Young, Juancho Hernangomez and more.

police lights

Armed man found barricaded inside Brooklyn Park home, negotiators on scene

An active police presence remains in the area as negotiators speak with the suspect.

Anthony Skelley

17-year-old South St. Paul homicide victim is identified

The medical examiner determined that Skelley died of multiple gunshot wounds.

tornado, severe weather

Tornado watch issued in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska

Severe storms are expected to push into southwest Minnesota this afternoon.

Screen Shot 2021-05-27 at 9.08.37 AM

Korean chicken chain Bonchon's 6th MN location set to open

The South Korean-based franchise has steadily increased its presence across the country.

Related

Scientists are puzzled as they find more and more mercury in Great Lakes wildlife

Loons in Wisconsin, and walleye and northern pike in Minnesota are among the species showing increasing levels of mercury contamination. At this point, scientists don't know why the levels are rising.

Chemicals from paper, carpet, clothing and more turning up in eggs of Great Lakes birds

Researchers say PFCs, chemicals used in a wide variety of consumer products, are turning up in the eggs of herring gulls. And, they say, if the birds suffer health problems it could bode ill for humans, as well.

Scientists say Asian carp could spread through all Great Lakes in 20 years

A risk analysis by U.S. and Canadian researchers finds the food supply and breeding areas in the Great Lakes would allow Asian carp to spread rapidly. The report says just ten breeding females and a few males would be enough of a foothold for the invasive fish to populate all five of the Great Lakes.

Obama wants $300 million for Great Lakes cleanup

The president's budget plan includes money to help clean up pollution in the lakes and keep out the invasive Asian carp, among other environmental initiatives.

Health officials review rules on contaminants in water supply

Regulators have long imposed limits on harmful contaminants such as lead and mercury, but now they're taking a closer look at what they call "contaminants of emerging concern," such as those found in pharmaceuticals, bug spray and fragrances.

Trying to solve the Mercury Mystery

The Star Tribune reports that this summer a team of Minnesota scientists, with some funding from the state's taconite industry, have quietly launched a $900,000 research project in an effort to solve an environmental mystery that has puzzled them for years: Why are mercury levels in Minnesota fish among the highest in the Great Lakes region?

One in 10 babies born near Lake Superior shows unsafe levels of mercury

The Minnesota Health Department study says the findings suggest pregnant women in the Lake Superior area "have mercury exposures that need to be reduced." Even small amounts of toxic mercury can harm developing brains and nervous systems.