Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles
EVALUATION OF TRACE ELEMENT CONCENTRATIONS IN THE SERUM AND VIBRISSAE OF PERUVIAN PINNIPEDS (ARCTOCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS AND OTARIA BYRONIA)
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Arsenic, Peru, pinnipeds, SECLER, serum, trace elements, vibrissae
Concentrations of 15 trace elements (aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium, tin, vanadium, and zinc) were determined in vibrissae (whiskers) and serum of two sympatric pinniped species, the Peruvian fur seal population (PFS; Arctocephalus australis Peruvian subpopulation) and South American sea lion (SASL; Otaria byronia) at Punta San Juan, Peru during 2011–19 sampling events. Element concentrations were 2–20 times higher in vibrissae than in serum. Vibrissae and serum concentrations of several elements, including aluminum, arsenic, and lead, suggest that environmental contaminants may affect the health of pinnipeds at Punta San Juan. Although toxicity thresholds are unknown in pinnipeds, high concentrations of some elements (especially aluminum, arsenic, and lead) may have adverse impacts on their health such as immunosuppression and impaired reproduction. Arsenic was the only element that increased in mean vibrissae concentration throughout the study period. Female SASL vibrissae contained a mean arsenic concentration three times higher than the male SASL vibrissae mean arsenic concentration, and twice as high as the arsenic mean for all PFS vibrissae. The mean male SASL vibrissae cadmium concentration was five times higher than the vibrissae cadmium mean for both PFS males and females and nearly three times higher than the vibrissae cadmium mean for SASL females. Serum concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, copper, and manganese were significantly higher during moderate to extreme El Niño years compared to La Niña years. With stronger and more frequent El Niño-Southern Oscillation events predicted in the future, it is vital to understand how these trace elements may affect pinniped population health.
Catherine Kooyomjian, Dimitrios Giarikos, Michael Adkesson, and Amy Hirons. 2022. EVALUATION OF TRACE ELEMENT CONCENTRATIONS IN THE SERUM AND VIBRISSAE OF PERUVIAN PINNIPEDS (ARCTOCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS AND OTARIA BYRONIA) .Journal of Wildlife Diseases , (3) : 608 -620. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/1265.
The authors thank Susana Cárdenas-Alayza, Marco Cardeña, and the Punta San Juan Program biologists for field support and data collection. We thank Gwen Jankowski, Jenny Meegan, Sathya Chinnadurai, Matt Allender, and Julie Balko, as well as the veterinary teams, for anesthesia support and sample collection. Trace elemental analysis was conducted by Alan M. Shiller at the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Trace Analysis. Funding for analysis was provided by grants from the Saint Louis Zoo Field Research for Conservation Fund and the Chicago Board of Trade Endangered Species Fund. We acknowledge support from the Peruvian government agencies SERNANP (National Service of Protected Natural Areas of Peru) for access inside the RNSIIPG (National Reserve System of Guano Islands, Islets and Points)-Punta San Juan reserve and AgroRural for use of field facilities.