Predicting Ecotoxicological Impacts of Environmental Contaminants on Terrestrial Small Mammals

  • Richard F. Shore
  • Peter E. T. Douben
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 134)


Wild small mammals have been used extensively as bio-indicators of terrestrial pollution (Martin and Coughtrey 1982; Sawicka-Kapusta et al. 1990; Talmage and Walton 1991; Wren 1986). Measurement of either tissue residues or biochemical response, such as reduction in cholinesterase activity following exposure to organophosphates, assesses the occurrence and, to some degree, the extent of uptake of xenobiotics from the environment. Although other routes of intake may occur, the predominant route of exposure in terrestrial mammals is by ingestion of contaminated forage. Transfer of chemicals through a variety of food chains can therefore be assessed by using small mammal species with different trophic strategies as bioindicators (Hunter et al. 1987).


Small Mammal Wild Species Common Shrew Wild Mammal Meadow Vole 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Shore
    • 1
  • Peter E. T. Douben
    • 2
  1. 1.I.T.E. Monks Wood, Abbots RiptonHuntingdon, CambridgeshireUK
  2. 2.Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of PollutionLondonUK

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