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Trans-fats on rise in herring gull diets, study finds
Salmon stocking seen as likely contributor

Scientists looking for environmental contaminants in the eggs of herring gulls from the Great Lakes have stumbled on something they didn't expect: trans-fats.

These fatty acids do not occur in nature; they are an ingredient in processed foods. Yet trans-fats started appearing in herring gull diets almost 15 years ago and have been increasing ever since, according to a recent study published in the journal Ecology.

The source, of course, is garbage, but experts say the herring gulls likely are not raiding the refuse bin by choice. Ring-billed gulls, a common smaller species, are the ones more likely to be seen begging morsels from beach picnics and flying around landfills.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-gulls_21aug21,0,2659582.story
 
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