PM11 Wildlife Ecotoxicology
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(PM178) Effects of Lead on the Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis.

Salice, C1, Suski, J1, Talent, L2, 1 U.S. Army, Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD, USA2 Department of Zoology, Oklahoma University

ABSTRACT- Lead is an important environmental contaminant on numerous sites throughout the United States. To date, there are few if any lead toxicity data for terrestrial, non-mammalian wildlife. Hence, for ecological risk assessments, it is difficult if not impossible to adequately evaluate risks for non-mammalian classes of terrestrial species such as reptiles. We used the Western fence lizard as a representative reptilian species to evalutae the sub-chronic toxicity of lead. Lead acetate in water was administered to lizards via oral gavage, which was the most rapid and efficient dosing method. Male lizards received daily doses of a vehicle control (water), 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, or 1000 mg/kg body weight for 60 consecutive days. Lead was very toxic to lizards at these concentrations; mortality occurred in a dose-dependent manner at all dose levels. Also, there was a dose-dependent effect of lead on cricket consumption; high dose lizards ate fewer crickets or were delayed in eating. As a consequence, weight loss was a common effect. These apparent effects of lead on the gastrointestinal tract are consistent with lead toxicity. Results suggest that S. occidentalis is relatively sensitive to lead. This study highlights the importance of evaluating non-mammalian, terrestrial wildlife species in a toxicological context. This model has proven adequate for sub-chronic toxicity studies and will be used to evaluate the toxicity of other compounds.

Key words: toxicity test, reptile, wildlife, lead

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