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Title: First health and pollution study on harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) living in the German Elbe estuary
Authors: Kakuschke, Antje
Valentine-Thon, Elizabeth
Griesel, Simone
Gandrass, Juergen
Luzardo, Octavio Perez 
Boada, Luis Dominguez 
Peña, Manuel Zumbado 
González, Maira Almeida
Grebe, Mechthild
Pröfrock, Daniel
Erbsloeh, Hans Burkhard
Kramer, Katharina
Fonfara, Sonja
Prange, Andreas
Keywords: Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrin
Marine Mammals
Accumulation, et al
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: 0025-326X
Journal: Marine Pollution Bulletin 
Abstract: The Elbe is one of the major rivers releasing pollutants into the coastal areas of the German North Sea. Its estuary represents the habitat of a small population of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina). Only little is known about the health status and contamination levels of these seals. Therefore, a first-ever seal catch was organized next to the islands of Neuwerk and Scharhorn in the region of the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park. The investigations included a broad set of health parameters and the analysis of metals and organic pollutants in blood samples. Compared to animals of other Wadden Sea areas, the seals showed higher gamma-globulin levels, suggesting higher concentrations of pathogens in this near-urban area, elevated concentrations for several metals in particular for V, Sn, Pb, and Sr, and comparable ranges for chlorinated organic contaminants, except for elevated levels of hexachlorobenzene, which indicates characteristic inputs from the Elbe. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 0025-326X
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2010.07.011
Source: Marine Pollution Bulletin[ISSN 0025-326X],v. 60, p. 2079-2086
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