[MARMAM] NEW PUBLICATION: Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian monk seals in the main Hawaiians Islands

Jessica Lopez - NOAA Affiliate jessica.lopez at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 28 15:50:55 PDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following article in the
journal Endangered Species Research

*Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian monk
seals Monachus schauinlsandi in the main Hawaiian Islands.*

Jessica Lopez, K. David Hyrenbach, Charles Littnan, Yina M. Ylitalo

Endangered Species Research 24: 249-262, 2014  doi: 10.3354/esr00602

ABSTRACT: Geographic variation in the levels of persistent organic
pollutants (POPs) was assessed in the serum of Hawaiian monk seals Monachus
schauinslandi from the main Hawaiian Islands. Twenty seals were outfitted
with tracking devices to map their home ranges, which were then compared
with the POP levels in their serum. Seals with similar ranges were shown to
have similar POP levels, and seals with home ranges around the island of
O‘ahu had significantly higher summed polychlorinated biphenyls and
polybrominated diphenyl ethers than seals around the islands of Kaua‘i and
Moloka‘i. This difference was not seen for summed
diphenyl-dichlorotriphenylethanes or chlordanes. Non-metric
multi-dimensional scaling (NMS) was used to determine if this geographic
variation in serum POP levels was associated with specific POPs,
watersheds, or state land use districts. The NMS ordination revealed
patterns at the island scale, rather than the finer watershed scale.
Additionally, there were differences in the land use characteristics adjacent
to seals’ home ranges between 2 islands: seals with home ranges around
O‘ahu had a high percentage of area adjacent to urban land use districts,
and seals with home ranges around Moloka‘i had a high percentage of area
adjacent to rural and agricultural land use districts. Integration of serum
POP levels and seal home ranges revealed geographic patterns that will
help assess
the risk of POPs to individual seals. The integrated approach highlighted
in this study is applicable to other marine wildlife exposed to local and
non-point pollutants.


Hawaiian monk seal, *Monachus schauinslandi, *Persistent organic
pollutants, geographic variation Endangered species, satellite tracking,
home range analysis, Hawaiian Islands

Limited access to the article can be found at
doi: 10.3354/esr00602

Please contact Jessica Lopez (Jessica.Lopez at noaa.gov) for a pdf copy.


Jessica Lopez

Field Research Supervisor
Hawaiian monk seal research program

office - 808-725-5743
cell - 808-226-1969
fax - 808-725-5567
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