Mercury in wild mink of the lower great lakes basin canada 1998 2006
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www.ec.gc.ca. Mercury in Wild Mink of the Lower Great Lakes Basin, Canada, 1998-2006. P.A. Martin, T.V. McDaniel, & K.D. Hughes , Environment Canada, Burlington ON. American Mink – A Great Lakes Sentinel.

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Mercury in wild mink of the lower great lakes basin canada 1998 2006 l.jpg

www.ec.gc.ca

Mercury in Wild Mink of the Lower Great Lakes Basin, Canada, 1998-2006

P.A. Martin, T.V. McDaniel, & K.D. Hughes, Environment Canada, Burlington ON


American mink a great lakes sentinel l.jpg
American Mink – A Great Lakes Sentinel

  • wide geographic distribution & captured in sufficient numbers (NA: 400-700k/yr, est. 10 million population)

  • restricted linear home range (1-5km)

  • Prey generalist, but ~50% diet is fish (bioaccumulate aquatic pollutants)

  • Sensitive to many pollutants, especially methylmercury (MeHg), MeHg-related effects (biochemistry, lesions, behavior) similar to other wildlife and humans

  • declines in wild mink populations associated with MeHg pollution

  • studied in nature and the laboratory


  • Mercury in mink liver n 156 13 great lakes basin sites 1998 2006 l.jpg
    Mercury in Mink Liver (n=156)13 Great Lakes Basin Sites, 1998-2006

    -Blue bars = shoreline animals (<8km)

    -Green = inland ref (8-40km)

    -[Hg] highest in marsh environments

    - Plotted N/W to S/E (trend?)


    Total mercury methylmercury in mink liver l.jpg
    Total Mercury & % Methylmercury in Mink Liver

    -MeHg in 51/156

    -confirm previous results


    Total mercury selenium in mink liver l.jpg
    Total Mercury & Selenium in Mink Liver

    -strong correlation

    -confirm previous results


    Total mercury selenium mink age l.jpg
    Total Mercury & Selenium - Mink Age

    -canine dental cementum = 3 age classes

    -youngest had lowest Hg (confirm some past works)


    Conclusions pt1 l.jpg
    Conclusions – Pt1

    • Significant variation in hepatic total mercury levels found among Great Lakes mink with the highest mean levels in mink trapped in locations associated with marsh environments.

    • Unclear relative influences of mercury sources derived from marshes, which can be natural sites of mercury methylation particularly following flooding (impoundments) as well possible industrial sources.

    • Total mercury negatively related to % methylmercury and positively related to selenium, consistent with increasing demethylation of methylmercury with increasing total mercury concentrations.


    Conclusions pt2 l.jpg
    Conclusions– Pt2

    • Total mercury levels in mink are consistently below 25 µg/g ww threshold associated with overt mercury toxicity.

    • A significant age effect was found for both mercury and selenium.

    • Mercury levels were unrelated to rates infestation with internal parasites.


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