[MARMAM] New publications on trace elements in Peruvian pinnipeds

Catherine Kooyomjian ck817 at mynsu.nova.edu
Wed Jul 13 12:09:03 PDT 2022

Dear MARMAM community,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am happy to announce our recent publications in Marine Mammal Science and the Journal of Wildlife Diseases:

Kooyomjian, C., Giarikos, D. G., Adkesson, M. J., Hirons, A. C. (2022). Maternal offloading of arsenic and other trace elements in Peruvian fur seals. Marine Mammal Science, 1– 15. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12920

Abstract: The maternal transfer of 15 elements was examined in Peruvian fur seal (Arctocephalus australis) dam and pup paired vibrissae (whiskers), serum, and milk samples collected from 2009 to 2019. Pup vibrissae, grown in utero, represented gestational transfer, while milk represented lactational transfer. Element concentrations, except arsenic, were highest in vibrissae compared to serum and milk for both dams and pups. Mean arsenic concentrations in pup vibrissae (0.44 μg/g) and milk (0.41 μg/g) were twice as high as dam vibrissae concentrations (0.19 μg/g) and nearly ten times higher than dam (0.06 μg/g) and pup serum (0.04 μg/g) concentrations. Mean arsenic concentrations from 2011 to 2019 increased in dam vibrissae (0.026 μg/g to 0.262 μg/g) and milk (0.361 μg/g to 0.484 μg/g). Pup vibrissae had significantly higher concentrations for 11 of the 15 elements analyzed compared to dam vibrissae, suggesting that element transfer is occurring through recent exposure and remobilization of elements from dam body stores. Potentially high concentrations of aluminum, arsenic, copper, and lead in pup tissues may impact their survival and population health. The impact of regional mining activities can contribute to elevated trace elements through runoff and pose a possible threat to local marine environments.


Kooyomjian, C., Giarikos, D. G., Adkesson, M. J., Hirons, A. C. (2022). EVALUATION OF TRACE ELEMENT CONCENTRATIONS IN THE SERUM AND VIBRISSAE OF PERUVIAN PINNIPEDS (ARCTOCEPHALUS AUSTRALIS AND OTARIA BYRONIA). Journal of Wildlife Diseases,1-13. https://doi.org/10.7589/JWD-D-21-00104

Abstract: 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 2011–2019 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 ENSO events predicted in the future, it is vital to understand how these trace elements may affect pinniped population health.

The full text is available Open Access at the following link:


Catherine Kooyomjian
Ck817 at mynsu.nova.edu

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20220713/31934e82/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list