Accumulation and tissue distribution of toxic metals in wild mink (<i>Mustela vison</i>) and muskrat (<i>Ondatra zibethicus </i>) living near mining/smelting operations and in mink following infection by the giant kidney worm (<i>Dioctophyme renale</i>)
Metal levels were examined in the kidneys and liver of wild mink ( Mustela vison) and muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) trapped near mining/smelting operations at three contaminated sites (Sudbury, Ontario; Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec; and Palmerton, Pennsylvania) and a reference site (Manitoulin Island, Ontario). Site comparisons indicated two to three-fold higher cadmium levels in both kidney and liver of the Rouyn-Noranda mink, and a similar but less pronounced elevation in hepatic lead and iron levels of these same animals. Among muskrat, cadmium levels were markedly elevated in the kidneys and liver of the Palmerton animals and to a lesser extent at Rouyn-Noranda. Lead levels were likewise elevated in renal and hepatic tissues of the Palmerton muskrat. Nickel levels, on the other hand, were elevated within the Sudbury muskrats, as were kidney and liver cobalt concentrations. No significant site-trends were noted for tissue copper and chromium loads assayed in these mink and muskrat populations.
Examination of toxic metal levels in Sudbury-area mink infected with the giant kidney worm parasite, Dioctophyme renale, indicated higher metal burdens among infected specimens than those uninfected. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
0768: Environmental science