Herring gull

scientific name: Larus argentatus
Herring gull
Photo: UPB-Projektgruppe Trier

Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.

Herring gulls are common at the German North and the Baltic Sea coast. Here they feed mainly on fish, mussels and crustaceans and are secondary respectively tertiary consumers and top predators in the marine food web. During breeding time they feed in close-by areas and their eggs are excellent indicators for pollution loads in the direct vicinity of breeding colonies. Herring gulls eggs arre frequently used monitoring species because they are easily available and identifiable and not protected by any legal restrictions.

The herring gull eggs are used as specimen.

Sampling takes place once a year during the nesting season.

Guideline for Sampling and Sample Processing Herring gull (Larus argentatus)

Target organs/Matrices

Egg content Eggs are suited as accumulation indicators and mirror the contamination of the breeding females. The shell protects the egg contents and inhibits a contamination of the sample.
Egg The whole egg is only biometrical described. Please switch to data search sample descriptions.

Sampling area

NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
DDT and metabolites Toxic and persistent organochloropesticide
Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds Organic compounds which are fully (per-) or partially (poly-) fluorinated
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1988 - 2019

Extended information

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