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(P025) Snapping Turtles in Selected Canadian Areas of Concern: Clinical Chemistry Results for Adult Males.
Fernie, Kim*,1, Jefferies, D2, Fox, Glen2, 1 Canadian Wildlife Service, Burlington, ON, Canada2 National Wildlife Research Centre, Hull, PQ, Canada
ABSTRACT- Snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are long-lived animals that reflect the contaminant exposure in local wetlands. In 2001, blood was collected from adult males live-trapped in three Canadian I.J.C.-designated Areas of Concern (AOCs): Wheatley Harbour, Detroit River, and St. Clair, and in Tiny Marsh, a reference site near Midland ON. Their plasma was submitted for clinical chemistry analyses. Males from within the Wheatley Harbour AOC had significantly higher plasma concentrations of magnesium, total proteins, urea, and triglycerides, and higher amylase activity than males from the other AOCs or reference sites with the exception of the St. Clair AOC. Turtles from the St. Clair AOC had the lowest plasma concentrations of total protein, urea, total antioxidants, and alkaline phosphatase activity. Wheatley Harbour males also had significantly lower total antioxidant concentrations and alkaline phosphatase activity than the turtles from the Detroit River AOC and reference site. Decreased concentrations of calcium and globulin in males from all the AOCs further suggest that contaminants and/or nutritional status are affecting the physiology of snapping turtles in these AOCs.
Key words: snapping turtle, clinical chemistry, biomarkers
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