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Mercury content in the fur of jaguars (Panthera onca) from two areas under different levels of gold mining impact in the Brazilian Pantanal

Overview of attention for article published in Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, August 2018
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Title
Mercury content in the fur of jaguars (Panthera onca) from two areas under different levels of gold mining impact in the Brazilian Pantanal
Published in
Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, August 2018
DOI 10.1590/0001-3765201720170190
Pubmed ID
Authors

JOARES A. MAY JÚNIOR, HOWARD QUIGLEY, RAFAEL HOOGESTEIJN, FERNANDO R. TORTATO, ALLISON DEVLIN, RUI M. DE CARVALHO JÚNIOR, RONALDO G. MORATO, LEONARDO R. SARTORELLO, LILIAN E. RAMPIM, MARIO HABERFELD, ROGÉRIO C. DE PAULA, JAIRO JOSÉ ZOCCHE

Abstract

The Pantanal is the largest inland wetland in the world and is under increasing anthropogenic threats, including long-term regionally intensive gold mining practices. Gold mining activities are known to cause the release of harmful pollutants such as mercury (Hg) to the surrounding environment. Jaguars (Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758)) are apex predators, and therefore show great potential to accumulate Hg by biomagnification. We hypothesize that total Hg content in the fur of jaguars from two sites within the Brazilian Pantanal would be significantly different as a function of distance from active gold mining operations. The Hg content was determined by fluorescence spectrometry. The mean ± SD Hg content in jaguars from the study site influenced by gold mining (SB) was compared to jaguars sampled in the area free of gold mining activities (CA) using a one-way ANOVA. The mean Hg content in jaguars from SB (673.0 ± 916.8 µg g-1) is significantly different from jaguars sampled in CA (29.7 ± 23.3 µg g-1), p = 0.03. The maximum recorded content of Hg was 2,010.4 ± 150.5 µg g-1, highest level ever recorded in a wild animal. The data indicate that Hg is an important threat to jaguars within at-risk regions of the Pantanal.

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Mendeley readers

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Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 78 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 16 21%
Researcher 10 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 8 10%
Student > Ph. D. Student 7 9%
Other 5 6%
Other 15 19%
Unknown 17 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 21 27%
Environmental Science 16 21%
Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine 6 8%
Computer Science 3 4%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 2 3%
Other 10 13%
Unknown 20 26%