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Title: A Post Mortem Study of Otters (Lutra Lutra) Found Dead in South West England
Author: R Simpson V
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_291, Representation ID: 60, Object ID: 1637
Post mortem examinations were carried out on 77 otters found dead in south west England between 1988 and 1996. The majority of deaths were due to road traffic accidents and most of these occurred in the winter months. Bite wounds, apparently caused by other otters, were the other main cause of death. There was no evidence of significant infectious disease and most otters were in good physical condition. Evidence of breeding was seen in almost half the females but in three cases the uteris appeared unusual, and were possibly abnormal. The concentrations of certain PCB congeners and pesticides in the otter’s livers declined significantly over the eight year study period. These declines coincided with increased liver Vitamin A levels, but a causal relationship was not established. PCB levels in males were generally much higher than in females. There was a relationship between the levels of certain pollutants and some organ weights. Future work should concentrate on the relationship between the levels of specific pollutants and the histopathology of endocrine organs and reproductive tracts.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: RiversMammalsAquatic animalsPesticidesMortality
Extent: 91
Total file downloads: 261

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