U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

Terrestrial vertebrate contaminant exposure and effects data for Mid-

Atlantic National Park Service lands

Ackerson BK, Rattner BA, McKernan MA

The USGS Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends project determines the effects of

contaminants on the lands and biota under the Department of the Interior's protection. As part

of this program the Contaminant Exposure and Effects --Terrestrial Vertebrates (CEE-TV)

database (www.pwrc.usgs.gov/contaminants-online) was created in 1996 to compile

ecotoxicological information and to help identify taxonomical, temporal and spatial data gaps in

the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Coasts, Hawaii, Alaska and the Great Lakes Region. Previous

analyses of CEE-TV records revealed that 60 of 126 National Park Service (NPS) units in these

regions lacked recent (since 1990) contaminant exposure and effects data for terrestrial

vertebrates. In 2005, we complied pollutant data for air, water, soil and biota from databases

and internet sources, and by staff interviews, at 23 National Park Service (NPS) units. A metric

was derived describing the quality and quantity of data for each park, and in combination with

known contaminant threats, the need for ecotoxicological study was identified and ranked. Over

half of NP units were near Toxic Release Inventory sites discharging persistent pollutants, and

fish consumption advisories were in effect at or near 22 of the units. Pesticide and herbicide

use was found to be minimal, with the exception of those units with agricultural leases. Only 70

reports were found that describe terrestrial vertebrate environmental contaminant data at or near

the units. Of the >75,000 compounds in commerce, empirical exposure data were limited to

merely 58 halogenated compounds, insecticides, rodenticides, metals, and some contemporary

compounds. Further ecotoxicological monitoring and research is warranted at several units

including Shenandoah NP, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal

National Historical Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park, Hopewell Furnace National

Historic Site, Monacacy National Battlefield, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The

types of investigations vary according to the wildlife species present and potential contaminant

threats, but should focus on contemporary use pesticides and herbicides, polychlorinated

biphenyls, mercury, lead, and perhaps antibiotics, flame retardants, pharmaceuticals, and

surfactants. Other management recommendations include inclusion of screening level

contaminant risk assessments into the NPS Vital Signs Program, development of protocols for

toxicological analysis of seemingly affected wildlife, alternative methods and compounds for

pest management, and use of non-toxic fishing tackle by visitors.

Friday, September 22, 2006

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