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

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
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
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
Total Mercury & % Methylmercury in Mink Liver

-MeHg in 51/156

-confirm previous results

total mercury selenium in mink liver
Total Mercury & Selenium in Mink Liver

-strong correlation

-confirm previous results

total mercury selenium mink age
Total Mercury & Selenium - Mink Age

-canine dental cementum = 3 age classes

-youngest had lowest Hg (confirm some past works)

conclusions pt1
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
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.