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Contamination of European Otters (Lutra Lutra) By Pcb Congeners and Organochlorinated Pesticides in the Wetlands of Western France

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

During the past fourty years, otter (Lutra lutra) populations have severely declined over much of Europe. One of the main regression factors appears to be pollution by organochlorine xenobiotics, especially PCBs. The present study took place in France, in the wetlands of the Atlantic border, where otter populations are considered to be stable. Muscle, pericaudal fat, and liver of 33 otters were analysed for 22 PCB congeners and organochlorine pesticides. The mean concentrations of organochlorinated pesticides in samples are relatively low (from 0 to 5.71 mg kg-1 lipid weight). The PCB concentrations are higher (mean in muscular tissue: 26.19 mg kg-1 lipid weight), but still remain low compared to similar samples from other countries. The relation between PCB concentration and physiological variables is discussed. Congener-specific analysis shows an important contamination due to highly chlorinated congeners and a poor contamination due to low chlorinated congeners. Potential hazards due to organochlorinated compounds are also discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Université de Liège, Laboratoire d'ecologie animale et d'écotoxicologie, Institut de Zoolo-gie, 22 Quai Van Beneden, 4020 Liège, Belgium, Universite de Liège, Unité de recherches sur l'écologie des mammifères, Institut de Zoologie, 22 Quai Van Beneden, 4020 Liège, Belgium; 2: Université de Liège, Laboratoire d'ecologie animale et d'écotoxicologie, Institut de Zoolo-gie, 22 Quai Van Beneden, 4020 Liège, Belgium; 3: Universite de Liège, Unité de recherches sur l'écologie des mammifères, Institut de Zoologie, 22 Quai Van Beneden, 4020 Liège, Belgium; 4: Parc Naturel Régional du Marais Poitevin, F-17170 La Ronde, France

10.1163/156854295X00285
/content/journals/10.1163/156854295x00285
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/content/journals/10.1163/156854295x00285
1995-01-01
2016-12-09

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