Effect of maternal foraging and breeding strategies on offspring quality in the Lesser black-backed gull: a field study
The Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus) is a seabird species with a high individual variation in foraging strategies and an ability to thrive in urban landscapes. As gulls become increasingly dependent on human
activities - and food resources - they also increase susceptibility of exposure to toxic substances through ingestion of contaminated food. This can reduce individual survival and impair reproductive success.
Additionally, adult birds may also pass these contaminant burdens to their offspring (e.g. via parental care, maternal deposition) which may also impair chick fitness. Known to induce neurological dysfunctions or alter behavioural displays in other bird populations, mercury (Hg) is one example of an environmental contaminant with the ability to be transferred to offspring by these mechanisms. [...]