Abstract # 39:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: Session 6 (San Geronimo Ballroom B) Oral Presentation


QUANTIFICATION OF HEAVY METALS (LEAD) IN HAIR SAMPLES OF BLACK HOWLER MONKEYS (ALOUATTA PIGRA) AND THEIR HABITAT IN BALANCÁN, TABASCO, MÉXICO

J. C. Serio-Silva1, E. Olguin-Palacios2, L. M. García-Feria1 and K. L. Tapia-Fierro2
1Red de Biologia y Conservacion de Vertebrados, Instituto de Ecologia AC, Xalapa, Veracruz 91070, USA, 2Red de Manejo Biotecnologico de Recursos, Instituto de Ecología AC
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     Testing hair from wildlife living near people may provide early evidence of toxic threats to both humans and wildlife. Black howlers and people are synanthropic in many areas of southern Mexico, including Balancan, Tabasco, sharing the same ecological niche. Although A.pigra is considered an arboreal primate, habitat fragmentation has resulted in monkeys going to the ground to feed, and walking on the ground between fragments to reach other food sources. Based on this, we analyzed the lead (Pb) concentrations in hair samples of monkeys from 13 different groups and Pb concentrations in plants and soil at various sites used for agriculture, forestry, and cattle ranching, where monkeys have been observed on the ground. Our results show very high lead concentrations in monkey hair (15 – 34 µg Pb/g), almost three times higher than concentrations reported for macaques in Asia (4.5 – 10.2 µg Pb/g). Additionally, Pb in plants and soil were also high (19.48 µg Pb/g in plants and 32.54 µg Pb/g in soil), and perhaps the sources of Pb contamination in these animals. Annual flooding in the area could also result in the influx of lead compounds from other locations and ingested by monkeys. This study shows how a non-invasive technique can be used to assess the bioaccumulation of contaminants in a nonhuman primate species, potentially affecting human populations in the same area.