Contaminants in bats roosting in abandoned mines at Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona, 1998-1999

Metadata Updated: May 12, 2018

This report documents levels and potential effects of trace element and organochlorine pesticide concentrations in four bats species collected from four abandoned mines on Imperial National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and from three southern Arizona reference sites. With the exception of arsenic in the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) and copper in California myotis (Al californicus) and Yuma myotis (Al yumanensis), there appears to be little potential for heavy metal related adverse effects in bats. Lead concentrations in Yuma myotis collected from the Eureka Mine were 5- to 10-times higher than concentrations in samples from the reference site; however, it is not known what concentrations of lead are associated with sublethal effects such as impaired learning and behavior. Bats collected from an abandoned mine in the intensively cultivated lower Gila River valley, approximately 137 km east of Imperial NWR, contained significantly higher organochlorine concentrations, including residues of DDT, than those from other sites, but maximum concentrations were below adverse effect thresholds. The population of Yuma myotis roosting at Imperial NWR's Eureka Mine, a mine complex with multiple entrances, appeared to consist of several sub-populations based on chemical profiles of bats collected at different entrances. Samples collected from three entrances exhibited significant differences in whole body burdens of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc. At Sheep Tank Mine, a reference site at Kofa NWR, barium, manganese, and zinc were detected in soil at concentrations at least 1 0-times higher than previously reported in Arizona. Big brown bats from the same mine also contained significantly higher concentrations of these elements than big brown bats collected from three other sites. Further studies are scheduled to test the hypothesis that body burdens in bats may, in part, be a reflection of ingestion of metals through the grooming process, and/or through inhalation of metal-laden dust particles at the roost site.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date December 2, 2017
Metadata Updated Date May 12, 2018

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI CKAN Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date December 2, 2017
Metadata Updated Date May 12, 2018
Publisher Fish and Wildlife Service
Unique Identifier FWS_ServCat_23081
Brent Frakes
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code "010:18"
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Harvest Source Id 9364572a-43e2-4cb5-a0ee-589c8af0e137
Harvest Source Title FWS-servecat
Data First Published 2001-06-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2001-06-01
Program Code "010:094", "010:028"
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