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Metal Levels in Southern Right Whales ( Eubalaena australis ) from Península Valdés, Argentina

  • Martino, Julieta1, 2
  • Wise, Sandra S1
  • Perkins, Christopher3
  • Sironi, Mariano2, 4
  • Wise, John Pierce Sr1
  • 1 Wise Laboratory of Environmental and Genetic Toxicology, Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, Department of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Southern Maine, 96 Falmouth St., Portland, ME 04104, USA
  • 2 Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas, CC 39-1623, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 3 Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, University of Connecticut, 3107 Horsebarn Hill Road, Building 4 Annex, U-4210 Storrs, CT 06269-4210, USA
  • 4 Cátedra de Diversidad Animal II, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Vélez Sársfield 299, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina
Published Article
Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology
OMICS Publishing Group
Publication Date
Sep 18, 2013
DOI: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000190
PMID: 31497377
PMCID: PMC6730668
PubMed Central
External links


Península Valdes, Argentina, is a nursing ground for a population of southern right whales ( Eubalaena australis ). In the last two decades this area has been subjected to an increase in population, tourism and industrial growth. This has raised the concern for exposure to chemical contaminants such as metals. In this study we measured nonessential metals (Ag, Al, As, Au, Ba, Be, Co, Cd, Cr, Hg, Li, Ni, Pb, Sb, Sn, Sr, U and Ti), essential metals (Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo and Zn) and an essential element (Se) in skin biopsies from female southern right whales (n=10). This is the first report on tissue concentrations of metals in adult southern right whales. Overall, tissue values were on the low end of the spectrum and similar to the values reported in studies of mysticetes from other regions. Measured values do not reflect substantial amounts of accumulation and thus serve as a baseline.

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