Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 477–492

Environmental Contaminants in Blood, Hair, and Tissues of Ocelots from the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, 1986–1997

  • Migual A. Mora
  • Linda L. Laack
  • M. Clare Lee
  • Jose Sericano
  • Robert Presley
  • Piero R. Gardinali
  • Lawrence R. Gamble
  • Stephen Robertson
  • Donell Frank
Article

Abstract

The ocelot (Felis pardalis) isan endangered neotropical cat distributed within asmall range in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), inTexas, U.S.A. Studies of the impacts of environmentalcontaminants in wild cats are few. Approximately onefourth of the estimated population (about 100) ofocelots in the LRGV was sampled to evaluate theimpacts of chlorinated pesticides, polychlorinatedbiphenyls, and trace elements on the population. Hairwas collected from 32 ocelots trapped between 1986–1992,and blood was collected from 20 ocelots trappedbetween 1993–1997. A few blood samples were obtainedfrom individuals recaptured two or three times. Tissue samples from 4 road-killed ocelots were alsoanalyzed. DDE, PCBs, and Hg were some of the mostcommon contaminants detected in hair and blood. MeanHg levels in hair ranged from 0.5 to 1.25 μg g-1 dw,Se from 1.5 to 3.48 μg g-1 dw, and Pb from 0.56 to26.8 μg g-1 dw. Mean DDE concentrations in plasma ranged from 0.005 μg g-1 ww to 0.153 μg g-1 ww, and PCBs ranged from 0.006 μg g-1 ww to 0.092 μg g-1 ww. Mean Hg levels in red blood cells rangedfrom 0.056 μg g-1 dw to 0.25 μg g-1 dw. Concentrations of DDE, PCBs, or Hg, did not increasesignificantly with age, although the highestconcentrations of DDE and Hg were found in olderanimals. Overall, concentrations of DDE, PCBs, and Hgwere low and at levels that currently do not pose anythreat to health or survival of the ocelot. This isfurther supported by good reproduction of the ocelotin the LRGV, where adult females averaged about 1.5kittens/litter. Thus, it seems that the current majorthreat to recovery of the ocelot in the LRGV may behabitat loss, although potential impacts of newgeneration pesticides, such as organophosphorus andcarbamate insecticides need further study.

contaminants endangered species Lower Rio Grande Valley mammals ocelot organochlorines Texas trace elements 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aihara, M. and Sharma, R. P.: 1986, 'Effects of endogenous and exogenous thiols on the distribution of mercurial compounds in mouse tissues', Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 15, 629-636.Google Scholar
  2. Albanus, L., Frankenberg, I., Grant, C., Von Hartman, U., Jernelov, A., Nordberg, G., Rydalv, M., Schutz, A. and Skerfving, S.: 1972, 'Toxicity for cats of methylmercury in contaminated fish from Swedish lakes and methylmercury hydroxide added to fish', Environ. Res. 5, 425-442.Google Scholar
  3. Ballschmiter, K. and Zell, M.: 1980, 'Analysis of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) by glass capillary gas chromatography', Fresenius Z. Anal. Chem. 302, 20-31.Google Scholar
  4. Burger, J., Marquez, M. and Gochfeld, M.: 1994, 'Heavy metals in the hair of opossum from Costa Rica', Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 27, 472-476.Google Scholar
  5. Burton, G. V., Alley, R. G., Rasmussen, G. L., Orton, P., Cox, V., Jones, P. and Graff, D.: 1977, 'Mercury and behavior in wild mouse populations', Environ. Res. 14, 30-34.Google Scholar
  6. Charbonneau, S. M., Munro, I. C., Nera, E. A., Willes, R. F., Kuiper-Goodman, T., Iverson, F., Moodie, C. A., Stoltz, D. R., Armstrong, F. A. J., Uthe, J. F. and Grice, H.: 1974, 'Subacute toxicity of methylmercury in the adult cat', Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 27, 569-581.Google Scholar
  7. Clark Jr., D. R., Ogasawara, P. A., Smith, G. J. and Ohlendorf, H. M.: 1989, 'Selenium accumulation by raccoons exposed to irrigation drainwater at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, California, 1986', Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 18, 787-794.Google Scholar
  8. Cumbie, P. M.: 1975, 'Mercury in hair of bobcats and racoons', J. Wildl. Manage. 39, 419-425.Google Scholar
  9. Elliott, J. E. and Shutt, L.: 1993, 'Monitoring organochlorines in blood of sharp-shinned hawks migrating through the Great Lakes', Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 12, 241-250.Google Scholar
  10. Emmons, L. H.: 1987, 'Comparative feeding ecology of felids in a neotropical rainforest', Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 20, 271-283.Google Scholar
  11. Facemire, C. F., Gross, T. S. and Guillette Jr., L. J.: 1995, 'Reproductive impairment in the Florida panther: nature or nurture?', Environ. Health Perspect. 103, 79-86.Google Scholar
  12. Gardner, S. W., Kendall, D. R., Odom, R. R., Windom, H. L. and Stephens, J. A.: 1978, 'The distribution of methylmercury in a contaminated salt marsh ecosystem', Environ. Pollut. 15, 243-251.Google Scholar
  13. Henny, C. J. and Meeker, D. L.: 1981, 'An evaluation of blood plasma for monitoring DDE in birds of prey', Environ. Pollut. 25, 291-304.Google Scholar
  14. Kamrin, M. A. and Ringer, R. K.: 1994, 'PCB residues in mammals: A review', Toxicol. Environ. Chem. 41, 63-84.Google Scholar
  15. Kamrin, M. A. and Ringer, R. K.: 1996, 'Toxicological Implications of PCB Residues in Mammals', in W. N. Beyer, G. H. Heinz and A. W. Redmon-Norwood (eds.), Environmental Contaminants in Wildlife, Lewis Publishers, New York, NY, pp. 153-163Google Scholar
  16. Konecny, M. J.: 1989, 'Movement Patterns and Food Habits of Four Sympatric Carnivore Species in Belize, Central America', in K. H. Redford and J. F. Eisenberg (eds.), Advances in Neotropical Mammalogy, Sandhill Crane Press, Gainsville, Florida, pp. 243-264.Google Scholar
  17. Laack, L. L.: 1991, 'Ecology of the Ocelot (Felis pardalis) in south Texas', MS Thesis. Texas A&I University, Kingsville, Texas.Google Scholar
  18. Leonards, P. E. G., Van Hattum, B., Cofino, W. P. and Brinkman, U. A. T.: 1994, 'Occurrence of non-ortho, mono-ortho, and di-ortho-substituted PCB congeners in different organs and tissues of polecats (Mustela putorius L.) from The Netherlands', Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 13, 129-142.Google Scholar
  19. Mondolfi, F.: 1986, 'Notes on the Biology and Status of Wild Cats in Venezuela', in S. D. Miller and D.E. Everett (eds.), Cats of the World: Biology, Conservation, and Management. National Wildlife Federation, Washington, DC, pp. 125-146.Google Scholar
  20. Mora, M. A. and Wainwright, S. E.: 1998, 'DDE, mercury, and selenium in biota, sediments, and water of the Rio Grande-Rio Bravo Basin, 1965-1995', Rev. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 158, 1-52.Google Scholar
  21. Mora, M. A., Auman, H. J., Ludwig, J. P., Giesy, J. P., Verbrugge, D. A. and Ludwig, M. E.: 1993, 'Polychlorinated biphenyls and chlorinated insecticides in plasma of Caspian terns: Relationships with age, productivity, and colony site tenacity in the Great Lakes', Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 24, 320-331.Google Scholar
  22. Navarro-Lopez, D.: 1985, 'Status and distribution of the ocelot (Felis pardalis) in South Texas', Unpublished MS Thesis. Texas A&I University, Kingsville, Texas.Google Scholar
  23. Roelke, M. E., Schultz, D. P., Facemire, C. F. and Sundlof, S. F.: 1991, 'Mercury contamination in the free-ranging endangered Florida panther (Felis concolor coryi)', Proc. Am. Assoc. Zoo. Vet. 20, 277-283.Google Scholar
  24. Sericano, J. L., Atlas, E. L., Wade, T. L. and Brooks, J. M.: 1990, 'NOAA's status and trends mussel watch program: chlorinated pesticides and PCBs in oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and sediments from the Gulf of Mexico, 1986-1987', Mar. Environ. Res. 29, 161-203.Google Scholar
  25. Tewes, M. E.: 1986, 'Ecological and behavioral correlates of ocelot spatial patterns', Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Idaho, Moscow, ID.Google Scholar
  26. Tewes, M. E. and Everett, D. D.: 1986, 'Status and Distribution of the Endangered Ocelot and Jaguarundi in Texas', in S. D. Miller and D. D. Everett (eds.), Cats of the World: Biology, Conservation, and Management, Texas A&I University, Kingsville, Texas, pp. 147-158.Google Scholar
  27. Texas Department of Health: 1992, 'An investigation of a cluster of neural tube defects in Cameron County, Texas', July 1 1992, Austin, Texas.Google Scholar
  28. Thompson, D. R.: 1996, 'Mercury in Birds and Terrestrial Mammals', in W. N. Beyer, G. H. Heinz and A. W. Redmon-Norwood (eds.), Environmental Contaminants in Wildlife, Lewis Publishers, New York, NY, pp. 341-356.Google Scholar
  29. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: 1982, 'Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Status for U.S. Population of the Ocelot', Federal Register 47, 31670-31672.Google Scholar
  30. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.: 1990, 'Listed Cats of Texas and Arizona Recovery Plan (with emphasis on the ocelot)', U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 131 pp.Google Scholar
  31. Wang-Andersen, G., Skaare, J. U., Prestrud, P. and Steinnes, E.: 1993, 'Levels and congener pattern of PCBs in Arctic fox, Alopex lagopus, in Svalbard', Environ. Pollut. 82, 269-275.Google Scholar
  32. Wolfe, M. F., Schwarzbach, S. and Sulaiman, R.: 1998, 'Effects of mercury on wildlife: A comprehensive review', Environ. Toxicol. Chem, 17, 146-160.Google Scholar
  33. Woodroffe, R. and Ginsberg, J. R.: 1998, 'Edge effects and the extinction of populations inside protected areas', Science 280, 2126-2128.Google Scholar
  34. Woodward, D. W.: 1980, 'The ocelot. Selected vertebrate endangered species of the seacoast of the United States', Fish and Wildlife Service FWS/OBS-80/01.9.Google Scholar
  35. Wren, C. D.: 1986, 'A review of metal accumulation and toxicity in wild mammals. I. Mercury', Environ. Res. 40, 210-244.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Migual A. Mora
    • 1
  • Linda L. Laack
    • 2
  • M. Clare Lee
    • 3
  • Jose Sericano
    • 4
  • Robert Presley
    • 5
  • Piero R. Gardinali
    • 4
  • Lawrence R. Gamble
    • 3
  • Stephen Robertson
    • 3
  • Donell Frank
    • 4
  1. 1.U.S. Geological Survey, c/o Department of Wildlife and Fisheries SciencesTexas A&M UniversityU.S.A.
  2. 2.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceLaguna Atascosa National Wildlife RefugeRio HondoU.S.A.
  3. 3.U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceTexas A&M Corpus ChristiU.S.A.
  4. 4.Geochemical and Environmental Research GroupTexas A&M UniversityU.S.A.
  5. 5.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityTXU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations