[MARMAM] New pubblication on Mediterranean monk seals toxicology

Annalisa Zaccaroni annalisa.zaccaroni at unibo.it
Thu Oct 27 13:27:12 PDT 2016

Dear MARMAM colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that my co-authors and I would like to share our most recent publication in SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT:

Costanza Formigaro, Alexandros A. Karamanlidis, Panagiotis Dendrinos, Letizia Marsili, Marina Silvi, Annalisa Zaccaroni (2017). Trace element concentrations in the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Science of the Total Environment 576: 528-537. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.10.142

Abstract: The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. The biggest sub-population of the species survives in Greece, where understanding the effects of pollution on the survival of the species has been identified as a national research and conservation priority. From 1990 to 2013 we collected tissue samples from 59 deceased monk seals in order to: (i) Define the concentration of trace elements (As, Pb, Cd, Hg, Se, Cr, Ni) in three different matrices (i.e., blubber, liver and kidney), (ii) Determine whether differences in trace element concentrations are age- or gender-related, (iii) Evaluate the potential effects of these pollutants. The study recorded differences in trace element concentrations among matrices, but in general, trace element exposure in Mediterranean monk seals in Greece was low and within the non-acutely toxic levels for Pinnipeds. Only arsenic concentrations were at the upper limit of the normal range observed in other marine mammals (0.69 ± 0.55 mg/kg w.w. in blubber, 0.79 ± 0.62 mg/kg w.w. in liver and 0.79 ± 0.59 mg/kg w.w. in kidney). We recorded also exceptionally high Hg concentrations in a single adult female (24.88 mg/kg w.w.). Age- and gender-related differences were also recorded and were due to various biological, ecological and chemical factors. Based on the results of the study, potentially adverse effects on the immune and endocrine system of the Mediterranean monk seal from some pollutants (e.g., As, Cd, Se, Ni, Cr) cannot be ruled out, which may expose the Mediterranean seal population in Greece to epizootics and stochastic phenomena of mass mortality. It is therefore of utmost importance that pollutant monitoring becomes an integral component of the standard monitoring protocol of the endangered Mediterranean monk seal in the eastern Mediterranean.

Full text and PDF files can be downloaded here http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969716323348


Alternatively, please send PDF requests to annalisa.zaccaroni at unibo.it<mailto:annalisa.zaccaroni at unibo.it>.

All the best,
Annalisa Zaccaroni
Dept. Veterinary Medical Sciences
University of Bologna
Viale Vespucci 2
Cesenatico (FC) 47042
tel. +39 0547 338944
fax +39 0547 338941
mobile +39 347 5951709
annalisa.zaccaroni at unibo.it<mailto:annalisa.zaccaroni at unibo.it>

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