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PCBs, Organochlorine Pesticides, and Reproduction in River Otters from Louisiana

Author: W. James Fleming; Christine M. Bunck; Greg Linscombe; Noel Kinler; Charles J. Stafford
Citation: Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 39:
Section: Wildlife Session
Page Numbers: 337-343
Year: 1985
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Reproductive tracts from 89 3-year-old female river otters (Lutra canadensis), from Louisiana were examined. Eighteen of these were in a reproductive phase out of synchrony with the expected population norms. Eight of 32 otters had fewer embryos than corpora lutea, indicating intrauterine mortality in 25% of the sample. Chemical analyses of liver tissue from 57 otters revealed a low prevalence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and organochlorine pesticide contamination. These low levels of organochlorine compounds were not associated with atypical reproductive synchrony or intrauterine mortality.

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