Beluga toxicology

From: Jennifer Philips (jphilips@hawaii.edu)
Date: Sun Jan 27 2002 - 17:53:21 EST


What are the problems for the Beluga Whale in Canada.
Include chemicals and pollution like PCB's and MIREX. Thanx.

I know relatively little about the issues surrounding
belugas in Canada, with the exception of a bit in St.
Lawrence Bay. The non-migrating belugas there are in severe
danger from environmental contaminants, including PCB's,
PAH's (petroleum products), and mercury. They are diseased
and dying, and many appear to be infertile as a result of
the contaminants. It is a serious problem, which could very
well result in the extinction of that population of belugas.
If you have access to an academic library, you might find
the following papers will give you the information you need.
A very short search of the Internet will also give you a
good summary of the situation, as long as you are careful to
look for those Websites that cite references to their
claims.

A modelling-based perspective on the past, present, and
future polychlorinated biphenyl contamination of the St.
Lawrence beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) population.
Hickie, BE; Kingsley, MCS; Hodson, PV; Muir, DCG; Beland, P;
Mackay, D. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC
SCIENCES. January-June 2000 v57 sup1 p101-112

Methylsulfone polychlorinated biphenyl and
2,2-bis(chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene metabolites in
beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St. Lawrence
River estuary and western Hudson Bay, Canada. Letcher, RJ;
Norstrom, RJ; Muir, DCG; Sandau, CD; Koczanski, K; Michaud,
R; De Guise, S; Beland, P. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND
CHEMISTRY. May 2000 v19 i5 p1378-1388

Gauthier, J.M., Pelletier, C. Brochu, S. Moore, C.D.
Metcalfe, and P.Bland. 1998. Environmental contaminants in
tissues of a neonate St. Lawrence beluga whale
(Delphinapterus leucas). Marine Pollution Bulletin 36(1):
102-108.

Jen Philips



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