Crosse, J. D.; Shore, R. F. ; Jones, K. C.; Pereira, M. G,

Chemical contaminants and shell index values for gannet eggs

This dataset gives concentrations of chemical contaminants in the contents of eggs collected from colonies of the northern gannet, Morus bassanus, in the United Kingdom. The majority of eggs analysed are from colonies on Ailsa Craig (Firth of Clyde) and Bass Rock (Firth of Forth) and have been collected since 1971. The study examined 658 eggs collected between 1971 and 2009. Eggs analysed by the PBMS are collected by licensed collectors. Contaminants measured include organochlorine pesticides, total mercury, total PCBs and, for recent years, individual PCB congeners. The PBMS is a long-term, national monitoring scheme that quantifies the concentrations of contaminants in the livers and eggs of selected species of predatory and fish-eating birds in Britain. Levels of contaminants are monitored to determine variations between species and regions, changes over time and effects on individual birds and their populations. The Scheme is funded by CEH, Natural England, the Environment Agency (EA) and the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU).

Publication date: 2012-02-16

Get the data

This dataset is made available under the terms of the Open Government Licence

Format of the data: Comma-separated values (CSV)

You must cite: Crosse, J. D.; Shore, R. F. ; Jones, K. C.; Pereira, M. G, (2012). Chemical contaminants and shell index values for gannet eggs. NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.


© UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


Study area
Temporal extent
1971-01-01    to    2009-12-31

Provenance & quality

Fresh eggs are collected by licenced egg collectors and are sent to the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS) at CEH Lancaster. The contents of the eggs are sampled and are 1) sent for analysis by the CEH Analytical facility and 2) retained for archive purposes. The biometric data (whole egg weight, length and breadth, etc) are entered by technician onto a MSAccess form which uploads directly to an Oracle database (managed internally by Computer Support). Chemistry batch files containing concentrations of pesticides in tissues are loaded directly into an Oracle database.


This dataset is included in the following collections

The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (PBMS)

Supplemental information

Related websites:

Other useful information regarding this dataset:

Crosse, John D.; Shore, Richard F.; Jones, Kevin C.; Pereira, M. Gloria. 2012 Long term trends in PBDE concentrations in gannet (Morus bassanus) eggs from two UK colonies. Environmental Pollution, 161. 93-100.
Pereira, M.G., Walker, L.A., Best, J. & Shore, R.F. 2009. Long term trends in mercury and PCB congener concentrations in gannet (Morus bassanus) eggs in Britain. Environmental Pollution 157, 155-163.

Correspondence/contact details

Lee Walker
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg
United Kingdom


Crosse, J. D.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Shore, R. F.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Jones, K. C.
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Pereira, M. G,
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Other contacts

Environmental Information Data Centre
NERC Environmental Information Data Centre
Rights Holder
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Additional metadata

Topic categories
Biota , Environment , Farming
Ailsa Craig Aldrin,  Bass Rock DDE,  DDT,  Dieldrin,  eggs,  Gannet,  HCH,  HEOD,  Hepox,  insecticide,  Lindane,  Morus bassanus organochlorine,  PCB,  PCBs,  persistent Organic Pollutants,  pesticide,  Pollution Pollution & Environmental Risk POPs,  Residue,  Shore Section TDE,  UK
Environmental Monitoring Facilities
Spatial representation type
Tabular (text)
Spatial reference system
OSGB 1936 / British National Grid
Last updated
22 September 2020 10:17