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Lead exposure in brown bears is linked to environmental levels and the distribution of moose kills
Département de biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada.
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Koppang, Norway.
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Koppang, Norway; Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden.
Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden; Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Trondheim, Norway.
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2023 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 873, article id 162099Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lead (Pb) is heterogeneously distributed in the environment and multiple sources like Pb ammunition and fossil fuel combustion can increase the risk of exposure in wildlife. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden have higher blood Pb levels compared to bears from other populations, but the sources and routes of exposure are unknown. The objective of this study was to quantify the contribution of two potential sources of Pb exposure in female brown bears (n = 34 individuals; n = 61 samples). We used multiple linear regressions to determine the contribution of both environmental Pb levels estimated from plant roots and moose (Alces alces) kills to blood Pb concentrations in female brown bears. We found positive relationships between blood Pb concentrations in bears and both the distribution of moose kills by hunters and environmental Pb levels around capture locations. Our results suggest that the consumption of slaughter remains discarded by moose hunters is a likely significant pathway of Pb exposure and this exposure is additive to environmental Pb exposure in female brown bears in Sweden. We suggest that spatially explicit models, incorporating habitat selection analyses of harvest data, may prove useful in predicting Pb exposure in scavengers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , 2023. Vol. 873, article id 162099
Keywords [en]
Pb, Resource selection function, Scavenger, Slaughter remain, Ursus arctos
National Category
Ecology Fish and Wildlife Management
Research subject
Applied Geochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-95817DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162099ISI: 000947410500001PubMedID: 36764533Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85148537045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-95817DiVA, id: diva2:1742022
Funder
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Note

Validerad;2023;Nivå 2;2023-03-08 (joosat);

Funder: Research Council of Norway; Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, and the Norwegian Environment Agency (grant number 19047048); NSERC Discovery grant (number 2018–05405); Steacie Memorial Fellowship (grant number 549146–2020)

Available from: 2023-03-08 Created: 2023-03-08 Last updated: 2023-04-21Bibliographically approved

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Rodushkin, Ilia

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