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A. Keith Miles

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Effects of inhalation of volatilized trichloroethylene (TCE) or perchloroethylene (PCE) were assessed based on the health and population size of wild, burrowing mammals at Edwards Air Force Base (CA, USA). Organic soil-vapor concentrations were measured at three sites with aquifer contamination of TCE or PCE of 5.5 to 77 mg/L and at two uncontaminated reference sites. Population estimates of kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami and D. panamintinus) as well as hematology, blood chemistry, and histopathology of kangaroo rats and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were compared between contaminated and uncontaminated populations. Maximum soil-gas concentrations associated with groundwater contamination were less than...
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Persistent organochlorine compounds and mercury (Hg) have been detected in numerous coastal organisms of the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska, yet sources of these contaminants are unclear. We collected glaucous-winged gulls, northern fulmars, and tufted puffins along a natural longitudinal gradient across the western and central Aleutian Islands (Buldir, Kiska, Amchitka, Adak), and an additional 8 seabird species representing different foraging and migratory guilds from Buldir Island to evaluate: 1) point source input from former military installations, 2) westward increases in contaminant concentrations suggestive of distant source input, and 3) effects of trophic status (δ15N) and carbon source (δ13C) on contaminant...
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Exposure to contaminants other than petroleum hydrocarbons could confound interpretation of Exxon Valdez oil spill effects on biota at Prince William Sound, Alaska. Hence, we investigated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in blood of sea otters and harlequin ducks sampled during 1998. PCB concentrations characterized by lower chlorinated congeners were highest in sea otters from the unoiled area, whereas concentrations were similar among harlequin ducks from the oiled and unoiled area. Blood enzymes often elevated by xenobiotics were not related to PCB concentrations in sea otters. Only sea otters from the unoiled area had estimated risk from PCBs, and PCB composition or concentrations did not correspond to reported...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Marine Pollution Bulletin
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Tortoises are susceptible to a wide variety of environmental stressors, and the influence of human disturbances on health and survival of tortoises is difficult to detect. As an addition to current diagnostic methods for desert tortoises, we have developed the first leukocyte gene transcription biomarker panel for the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), enhancing the ability to identify specific environmental conditions potentially linked to declining animal health. Blood leukocyte transcript profiles have the potential to identify physiologically stressed animals in lieu of clinical signs. For desert tortoises, the gene transcript profile included a combination of immune or detoxification response genes with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: EcoHealth
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Large mammalian herbivores introduced to islands without predators are predicted to undergo irruptive population and spatial dynamics, but only a few well-documented case studies support this paradigm. We used the Riney-Caughley model as a framework to test predictions of irruptive population growth and spatial expansion of caribou (Rangifer tarandus granti) introduced to Adak Island in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska in 1958 and 1959. We utilized a time series of spatially explicit counts conducted on this population intermittently over a 54-year period. Population size increased from 23 released animals to approximately 2900 animals in 2012. Population dynamics were characterized by two distinct periods of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosphere
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