An Assessment of Mercury Concentrations in Small Mammals Collected Near Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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Mercury concentrations in liver and hair tissue were determined for five species of small mammals captured near Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. These data were then used to evaluate the suitability of using hair as a noninvasive technique for determining body burdens of mercury. A total of 104 small mammals were captured and analyzed; four main species were examined and included: Dipodomys merriami, Chaetodipus penicillatus, Peromyscus eremicus, and Neotoma lepida. Mean mercury concentrations were highest in N. lepida, followed by D. merriami, C. penicillatus, and P. eremicus respectively. Positive associations were found between hair and liver taken from D. merriami (r = 0.647) and C. penicillatus (r = 0.533) indicating that hair may be a suitable indicator of body burdens in these two species.


Biological monitoring; Cactus mouse; Chaetodipus penicillatus; Desert pocket mouse; Desert wood rat; Dipodomys merriami; Hair; Indicators (Biology); Liver; Mercury; Merriam's kangaroo rat; Neotoma lepida; Nevada – Las Vegas Wash; Peromyscus eremicus; Rodents – Mercury content; Small mammals


Animal Sciences | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Monitoring | Environmental Sciences | Toxicology


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