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  • Seabirds are long-range transporters of nutrients and contaminants, linking marine feeding areas with terrestrial breeding and roosting sites. By depositing nutrient-rich guano, which acts as a fertiliser, seabirds can substantially influence the terrestrial environment in which they reside. However, increasing pollution of the marine environment has resulted in guano becoming similarly polluted. Here, we determined metal and metalloid concentrations (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb) in Flesh-footed Shearwater (Ardenna carneipes) guano, soil, terrestrial flora, and primary consumers and used an ecological approach to assess whether the trace elements in guano were bioaccumulating and contaminating the surrounding environment. Concentrations in guano were higher than those of other Procellariiformes documented in the literature, which may be influenced by the high amounts of plastics that this species of shearwater ingests. Soil samples from shearwater colonies had significantly higher concentrations of all metals, except for Pb, than soils from control sites and formerly occupied areas. Concentrations in terrestrial primary producers and primary consumers were not as marked, and for many contaminants there was no significant difference observed across levels of ornithogenic input. We conclude that Flesh-footed Shearwaters are transporters of marine derived contaminants to the Lord Howe Island terrestrial environment.

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    Whale muscle samples were collected from stranded and dead blue (Baleoptera musculus) and fin (Baleoptera physalus) whales in South-western Australia. Blue, fin, sperm (Physeter macrocephalus), humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and pygmy blue (Baleoptera musculus brevicauda) whale faecal samples were collected from coastal waters off Southern Australia by trawling 0.5 mm mesh nets over the surface waters following defecation. Four species of krill (Nyctiphanes australia, Euphausia pacifica, Meganyctiphanes norvegica), including Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) were collected from various locations worldwide. We analysed the concentration of iron, cadmium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, phosphorus and carbon in baleen whale faeces and muscle, and krill tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.