WA5 Wildlife Toxicology: Forensic Approaches
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() An Assessment of Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Effects on Development of Wild Mink from Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.

Martin, P.1, Elliott, J.2, Wilson, L.2, McDaniel, T.1, 1 Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada2 Canadian Wildlife Service, Delta, British Columbia, Canada

ABSTRACT- Carcasses of trapper-caught mink were collected at industrial and reference sites around the Great Lakes in Ontario and along the coast of British Columbia A total of 238 mink carcasses were obtained during the winters 1998-2002. The study was prompted by reports of associations between PCBs and TCCD toxic equivalents and reproductive development in male mink and river otter (Lutra canadensis) from the Pacific Northwest, and laboratory studies reporting TCDD effects on sexual development of male rodents. All carcasses were examined for abnormalities and morphometric endpoints including age, sex, body condition, sub-cutaneous fat, body and organ weights and baculum weight and length were collected. Tissue from a sub-set of carcasses (n=150) were analyzed for PCBs and OC pesticides. A subset of samples were also analyzed for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and mercury. Some 10 % of animals exceeded LOAELs for PCB effects on reproduction in female mink. Similar criteria are not yet available for males. Baculum length was greater in first year and adult mink from British Columbia versus Great Lakes, though there was no difference between locations in juveniles. In juvenile animals pooled across locations, baculum length was positively correlated with hepatic PCB burden, though this is probably a function of growth and body condition. In first year males, there was a negative relationship between PCBs and body condition and in adult animals (< 1 year) baculum length was negatively related to DDE burden. Sexual development in male wild mink may be affected by ambient DDE.

Key words: organochlorines, PCBs, mink, baculum

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