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(P053) Snapping Turtles in Selected Canadian Areas of Concern: Hatching Success, Hatchling Development and Selected Biomarkers.
Fernie, Kim*,1, Ashpole, Sara2, Trudeau, Suzanne3, Pauli, Bruce3, 1 Canadian Wildlife Service, Burlington, ON, Canada2 Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada3 National Wildlife Research Centre, Hull, PQ, Canada
ABSTRACT- Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina ) are long-lived animals which reflect the contaminant composition of local wetlands. In 2001, clutches of eggs were collected from three Canadian Areas of Concern (AOCs): Wheatley Harbor, Detroit River, and St Clair, and two reference sites (Algonquin Park, Tiny Marsh ON). Subsequent hatchlings were raised in captivity to assess hatching success, development, and for biomarker analysis. Hatching success was significantly higher at the Detroit River AOC than the reference sites but the other two AOCs, particularly Wheatley, had lower success than these sites. Hatchling survival was also poorest at the contaminated sites, particularly one site within the Detroit River AOC which had had the highest hatching success. Although the incidence of deformities was low in all sites, deformities tended to occur more frequently in the AOCs especially the Wheatley AOC once again. AOC hatchlings were larger, then grew bigger (mass, carapace) and showed alterations in sexually-dimorphic morphology compared to reference turtles. Furthermore, hepatic EROD was elevated in AOC hatchlings and there were alterations in hepatic retinol concentrations.
Key words: snapping turtle, development, biomarker
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