Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 4121
Title: Persistent organic pollutants in the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) from an important population: the Main Hawaiian Islands
Author: Jessica Lopez, Daryle Boyd, G. M. Ylitalo, Charles Littnan, Ronald W. Pearce
Publication Year: 2012
Journal: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume: 64
Pages: 2588-2598
Keywords: Hawaiian monk seal,Persistent Organic Pollutants,endangered species,Hawaii,Contaminants,

Little is known about levels or effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Hawaiian monk seal (HMS) from the subpopulation in the Main Hawaiian Island (MHI). This study examined the concentrations of a large suite of POPs in blubber and serum of juvenile and adult HMS from the MHI. Adult females have lowest blubber levels of most POPs, whereas adult males have highest levels. POPs in serum were significantly different in adult males compared with adult females for chlordanes and summed dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs). Paired blubber and serum samples showed highly significant correlations of lipid-normalized concentrations of chlordanes, DDTs, polychlorinated biphenyls and mirex. Surprisingly, contaminant levels from the MHI were at similar or lower levels than those from remote northwestern Hawaiian island populations. Developing this baseline of POP levels adds to the assessment of threats to this critically endangered species in an important part of its range.


Theme: Sustaining Marine Ecosystem and Human Health
Foci: Characterize the interaction of human use and habitat distribution, quantity and quality.