Projects/Activities

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Displaying: 21 - 40 of 41 Next
21. Health and heavy metals evaluation of two caribou herds of northern Alaska in response to a mortality event

We compared animals from a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) mortality event in the area of Point Hope and Chariot (Cape Thompson), Alaska (USA) in 1995 to hunter-killed caribou from reference sites (Barrow, Red Dog Mine, and Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska). Gross and histologic endpoints, and element levels (As, Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn, Fe) were evaluated. Starvation/malnutrition were major factors leading to death or severe weakness as very little or no fat (very low body condition scores) and serous atrophy of fat (marrow cavity and histologically) were more prevalent in caribou associated with the mortality event as compared to reference sites animals. Accumulation of hepatic hemosiderin in Kuppfer cells was noted as an indicator of cachexia. Levels of lead in feces and liver, copper the rumen contents, and arsenic in muscle were higher in caribou harvested near Red Dog Mine and might be expected in the mineral rich area, but were not at a level of concern for toxicoses. Kidney levels of cadmium were significantly increased with increasing age, and presents a potential concern for human consumers, and is an expected finding. We concluded that heavy metals played no role in the mortality event and that caribou starved. Further investigation of regional minerals differences is required to understand the sources and transport mechanisms to explain these findings and to properly address mining activity impacts. Mortality events on the north slope of Alaska are not uncommon and likely involve starvation as described here, but in most cases are not investigated, even though recent industrial activities have heightened concern.

Heavy metals starvation Caribou Alaska Rangifer tarandus
22. Population ecology of arctic geese in relation to natural predation pressure

In order to manage populations of migratory geese a better understanding of the mechanisms that determine the size of these populations is needed. The objective of this project is to investigate such mechanisms, within the framework of the entire population of Dark-bellied Brent Geese, that winters in western Europe, and breeds in northern Siberia. The final objective of this project is to help predict future numbers of geese that will winter in western Europe in order to be able to forecast levels of agricultural damage caused by geese. Though hunting is an important factor determining the size of most goose populations, this is not a focal point in this project. Therefore this project focuses on a virtually non-hunted subspecies, viz. the Dark-bellied Brent Goose. Research activities Field work has been carried out in the Pyasina-delta in northern Taymyr, Russia during six consecutive summers from 1990 - 1995 in order to cover two complete lemming cycles. The project focuses the one hand on natural predators (like arctic foxes, Snowy Owls, Glaucous Gulls and Herring Gulls, and even Polar Bears) as a regulatory mechanism for the Dark-bellied Brent Geese, a virtually non-hunted subspecies. Lemming cycles have an important effect on the abundance and behaviour of most of these predators, and measuring lemming density forms an integral part of this study. On the other hand weather conditions, as well as the body condition of the geese themselves are being studied, because those factors are in themselves extremely important predictors of breeding success.

Biology Populations lemmings Biodiversity geese Food webs predation Reproduction breeding sucess Ecosystems
23. Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS), Food Security and Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North

Brief: Assessment of the significance of aquatic food chains as a pathways of exposure of indigenous peoples to PTS, assessment of the relative importance of local and distant sources, and the role of atmospheric and riverine transport of PTS in Northern Russia. Project rationale and objectives: (1) To assess levels of Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS) in the environment in selected areas of the Russian North, their biomagnification in aquatic and terrestrial food chains, and contamination of traditional (country) foods that are important components of the diet of indigenous peoples. (2) To assess exposure of indigenous peoples in the Russian North to PTS, and the human health impacts of pollution from local and remote sources, as a basis for actions to reduce the risks associated with these exposures. (3) To inform indigenous peoples about contamination by PTS of their environment and traditional food sources, and empower them to take appropriate remedial actions to reduce health risks. (4) To enhance the position of the Russian Federation in international negotiations to reduce the use of PTS, and to empower the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (RAIPON) to participate actively and fully in these negotiations. Project activities to achieve outcomes: (1) Inventory of local pollution sources in the vicinities of selected indigenous communities. (2) Survey of levels and fluxes of PTS in riverine and coastal marine environment important for indigenous peoples living in these environments and using them for their subsistence; and assessment of fluxes of PTS to these environments via selected rivers and the atmosphere. (3) Dietary surveys of selected indigenous communities. (4) Study of biomagnification, based on measurements of selected PTS in representative species in food chains important for the traditional diet of indigenous populations. (5) Survey and comparative assessment of pollution levels of the indigenous and general population in selected areas. (6) Dissemination of results to all relevant stakeholders.

GEF Catchment studies Contaminant transport Caribou Exposure Reindeer Dioxins/furans Sediments Pesticides persistent toxic substances Human intake Marine mammals Pathways Organochlorines PTS PCBs Soils Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people PAHs Long-range transport Spatial trends Terrestrial mammals Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Seabirds Food webs Data management Diet Human health
24. Persistent organic pollutants measurements in Arctic fox from the Pribilof Islands, Alaska

Objectives were to measure a suite of organochlorine contaminants in tissues of Arctic fox collected on the Pribilof Islands for comparison to similar measurements in Arctic fox from other locations for the AMAP assessment.

Organochlorines PCBs fat Terrestrial mammals Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Pesticides Arctic fox
25. Human and chemical ecology of Arctic pathways by marine pollutants

1. Research area # 2 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Study of anthropogenic influences on the Western Arctic/Bering Sea Ecosystem", and 2. Research area #4 in the 1998/99 Announcement of Opportunity by CIFAR, "Contaminant inputs, fate and effects on the ecosystem" specifically addressing objectives a-c, except "effects." a. "Determine pathways/linkages of contaminant accumulation in species that are consumed by top predators, including humans, and determine sub-regional differences in contaminant levels..." b. "Use an ecosystems approach to determine the effects of contaminants on food web and biomagnification." c. "Encourage local community participation in planning and implementing research strategies." The objectives of Phase I, Human Ecology Research are to: 1. Document reliance by indigenous arctic marine communities in Canada, Alaska and Russia on arctic resources at risk from chemical pollutants; and, 2. Incorporate traditional knowledge systems of subsistence harvesting. The human ecology components of the project were conducted within the frameworks of indigenous environmental knowledge and community participation. Using participatory mapping techniques, semi-structured interviews and the direct participation of community members in research design, data collection and implementation, research and data collection on the human ecology of indigenous arctic marine communities was undertaken in the communities of Holman, NWT (1998), Wainwright, Alaska (1999), and is underway in Novoe Chaplino, Russia. (2000).

Biology Organochlorines PCBs Fish Indigenous people Contaminant transport Stable isotopes Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Food webs Ecosystems Marine mammals
26. Mineral and heavy metal status as related to a mortality event and poor recruitment in a moose population in Alaska.

Moose (Alces alces) found dead (FD) and hunter-killed (HK) in 1995 on the north slope of Alaska (Colville River drainage) were evaluated for heavy metal and mineral status. Compared to previous reports for moose and domestic cattle, and data presented here from Alaska moose outside the Colville River area, levels of copper (Cu) were determined to be low in hoof, hair, liver, kidney, rumen contents, and muscle for these north slope moose. Iron (Fe) was low in muscle as well. These findings, in conjunction with evidence of poor calf survival and adult mortality prompted investigation of a mineral deficiency in moose (serum, blood, and hair) captured in the spring of 1996 and 1997. Captured males had higher Ca, Zn and Cu levels in hair than captured females. Female moose hair samples were determined to be low (deficient) in Cu, Ca, Fe, and Se with mean levels (ppm) of 2.77, 599.7, 37.4, and 0.30, respectively. Serum Cu level was low, and to a lesser degree Zn was deficient as well. Whole blood (1997 only) was marginally deficient in Se and all animals were deficient in Cu. Based on whole blood, sera and hair, Cu levels were considered low for moose captured in spring 1996 and 1997 in the Colville River area as compared to published data and other populations evaluated in this study. Low levels of ceruloplasmin activity support this Cu deficiency theory. Evidence indicates that these moose are deficient in Cu and other minerals; however, the remote location precluded sufficient examination of animals to associate this apparent deficiency with direct effects or lesions. Renal levels of Cd increased with age at expected levels.

Alces alces Minerals Populations Heavy metals Moose Alaska Reproduction
27. Bird monitoring in Dividalen and Børgefjell

Population monitoring of Gyrfalcon, Golden Eagle, Willow Grouse and Passerine birds

Biological effects Populations Heavy metals Long-range transport Climate change Radionuclides Reproduction Temporal trends
28. Heavy metals in Grouse species

Study changes in liver concentrations of Cd, Pb, Hg, Cu and Zn in Lagopus lagopus and Tetrao tetrix between the time periods 1990/91 and 2000/01

Heavy metals Long-range transport Pollution sources Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Emissions Exposure Temporal trends
29. Radionukleider i Grønlandske miljøprøver - Radionuclides in Greenlandic environmental samples

1: Cs-137 trend in marine sediments from East and West Greenland - to be compared with As data 2: Cs-137 in Greenland reindeer from areas with and without lichen

Greenland Cs-137 Radionuclides Marine sediments Reindeer Sediments
30. Persistent pollutants in the arctic fox

* Standarise the sampling methods from tissues and organs from arctic fox for organochlorine analyses * study the relationship between concentrations of organochlorines in blood samples and tissues * compare the levels of organochlorines in arctic foxes from Svalbard, Greenland and Russia

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) sampling methods Arctic fox east-west transect tissues blood
31. Monitoring of bioaccumulating compounds in terrestrial environment and environmental specimen banking

The monitoring is focused on risk assessment of LRTAP -type substances in terrestrial foodchains of the Boreal and subarctic environment. The concentration levels in precipitation, in the soil humus and in the indicator species (e.g. red woodants, common shrew) are studied annually in the seven areas locating in the Southern, Middle and Northern Finland. Possible gradients and changes in concentration levels between the Southern and Northern environments will be a part of the base data for risk assessment and pollution development in Finland.

Biology Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Long-range transport Contaminant transport Terrestrial mammals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Reindeer Pesticides Ecosystems
32. Monitoring of residues in animal tissues

According to the national residue control programme heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury) and organochlorine compounds (HCH, HCB, DDT, PCB, etc) are analyzed from the samples. Investigations are done according to the Council Directive 96/23/EC.

PCBs Heavy metals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Reindeer Diet Human health Human intake
33. Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) in the Arctic environment

Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are persistent and lipophilic compounds used as flame retardants in electronic equipment, plastic material and synthetic fibbers among other things. The PBDEs are mainly used as Deca-BDE and Bromokal 70-5DE, a mixture of tetra-, penta- and hexa-BDE. Due to its chemical and physical properties PBDEs, especially TeBDEs, tend to bioaccumulate. PBDEs were first reported in sediments in USA, and in fish from a Swedish river. More recently PBDEs have also been reported in seals, birds, mussels, whales and humans. In this study an SFE-method for rapid analysis of PBDEs in marine mammals was developed. This method was used to determinate the concentrations of these environmental pollutants in Pilot Whale samples caught in the Faroe Islands, Beluga Whales from the Arctic and Polar Bears from Svalbard. Using this method several PBDEs were analysed in the different species. In addition methoxylated PBDEs (Me-O-PBDE) were identified by interpretation of the different mass spectra’s. Of the 209 theoretical possible congeners only a few PBDE seem to accumulate in the environment. Accumulation of PBDE is related to the different chemical properties of the molecule. With the help of multivariate characterisation of a compound class using semi-empirical molecular orbital calculations, literature data and actual experimental measurements, the behaviour of PBDE in the environment can be modelled and predicted. Such models are essential in order to gain more insight in the behaviour of PBDE in the environment.

SFE extraction Long-range transport Brominated flame retardants Contaminant transport PBDE Supercritical fluid Terrestrial mammals Polybrominated diphenyl ethers Polar bear Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Sediments Reproduction Marine mammals
34. Biological core programme

The major aim in AMAP is to monitor the levels of anthropogenic contaminants in all major compartments of the Arctic environment, and assess the environmental conditions in the area. This core programme will provide the Danish/Greenlandic authorities with data which make it possible to take part in the international AMAP programme under the Arctic Council. In order to monitor the levels of anthropogenic pollutants, samples will be collected and analysed. The measured components will include heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in order to allow for spatial and temporal trends in Arctic biota. The program has taken in consideration the recommended importance of persistent organic pollutants and mercury and the importance of the marine food chain. The core program focuses on areas with high population density or areas with high levels of pollutants in the environment.

Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Fish Radioactivity PAHs Spatial trends Environmental management Caribou Terrestrial mammals Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds Reindeer Dioxins/furans Sediments Pesticides Temporal trends Marine mammals
35. Yukon Traditional Foods Monitoring Program

Short Term i) to provide additional information for use in updating health advisories. Long Term i)to investigate the fate and effects of contaminant deposition and transport to the Yukon, allowing Northerners to better manage the issue of contaminants. ii)to determine levels of contaminants for use in long term trend monitoring.

Biological effects Pollution sources Contaminant transport Caribou Dioxins/furans Pesticides Human intake Pathways Biology Populations Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Fish Indigenous people PAHs Long-range transport Spatial trends Petroleum hydrocarbons Terrestrial mammals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Local pollution Food webs Data management Diet Temporal trends Human health Ecosystems
36. Anthropogenic radionuclides in Greenland and the Faroe Islands

It is suggested to analyse a variety of samples from Greenland and the Faroe Islands for radionuclides. The technetium pulse now under way from England will be surveyed in seawater, seaweed and shrimp, and time trends in concentrations of caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium will be monitored in selected components of marine, fresh water and terrestrial environments. As far as possible, the sampling programme is coordinated with other sampling programmes in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It is suggested to re-investigate the weapons plutonium pollution in Bylot Sound off Pituffik on a 5-year basis i.e. year 2002 in the present AMAP programme

technetium marine food plutonium strontium caesium Radionuclides long-distance transport AMAP
37. Contaminants in Greenland Human Diet

Humans in Greenland are exposed to higher intakes of some contaminants from the diet than in most of Europe and North America. The objective of the study is to screen the most important local diet items in West Greenland for cadmium, mercury, selenium and organochlorine contaminants. Mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates, mainly marine species are being analysed.

Organochlorines PCBs Heavy metals Fish Caribou Terrestrial mammals Exposure Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds Reindeer Pesticides Diet Human health Human intake Marine mammals
38. Effects and Trends of POPs on Polar Bears

LONG TERM: Determine the effects, at the individual and population level, of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and their metabolites in the polar bear; determine trend of POPs in the Arctic marine environment using polar bear tissues as a biomonitor. SHORT TERM: a. Determine 10-year temporal trends of POPs in the Hudson Bay Sub-Arctic Ecosystem from 1990-1989 by analysis of archived polar bear biopsy samples, including changes in enantiomeric composition of -HCH and chlordane compounds and ratio of -HCH/-HCH (cross-referenced to separate proposal on HCHs). b. Determine if there is selective tissue distribution of the enantiomers of chiral contaminants in polar bears, which may influence target organ toxicity, by analysis of archived polar bear samples. c. Determine the endocrine disrupting effect of POPs on testosterone and PCB metabolite profiles by in vitro metabolism studies using polar bear liver microsomes. d. In collaboration with CWS P&N Region, the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, determine the immunotoxic effects of PCBs and other organochlorines in polar bears throughout a gradient of exposure (Hudson Bay, low; Svalbard, high). e. Determine the effects of hydroxy-PCBs on circulating thyroid hormone and vitamin A concentrations.

Biological effects Organochlorines PCBs Long-range transport Spatial trends Pollution sources Terrestrial mammals Polar bear Exposure Arctic Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Dioxins/furans Temporal trends Marine mammals
39. AMAP phase II- Faroe Islands, 2000, core program

The project is meant to cover specific parts of AMAP phase II in the Faroe Islands. The project includes species from the marine and freshwater environment as well as biota from the terrestrial subprogram. The species chosen for the project are to be analysed for the environmental toxins that were termed essential in the guidelines of the circumpolar programme, but minor adjustments may occur. The selection of species to be analysed have been made so as so to elucidate the burden of contaminants in the local and often also traditional food, and at the same time it has been important to ensure comparability between countries in the AMAP area. The biota chosen are pilot whale, black guillemot, hare, sheep and lamb, arctic char and sculpin. In addition to this core program where the above-mentioned are analysed for the limited set of pollutants, certain special tasks have been planned. Examples on such special tasks are the analysis of mercury in sediment core profiles and investigation of the dioxin and POP burden in cows milk.

PCBs Heavy metals Fish Terrestrial mammals Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) Seabirds Pesticides Temporal trends Marine mammals
40. Compiling and summarizing Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs) data from the U.S. Arctic for the Arctic Monitoring & Assessment Programme (AMAP)

Objectives: 1. Locate and assemble scientific data from the U.S. Arctic on the concentrations and effects of POPs in all compartments (e.g., marine and terrestrial biota, abiotic substrates) of the Arctic. 2. Evaluate, analyze and summarize these scientific data from the U.S. Arctic into text suitable for inclusion in a new (second) AMAP publication on POPs. 3. Disseminate the summarized information via a U.S. AMAP Internet page that is directly linked to the current International AMAP Internet page. Summary (Abstract): The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) was established in 1991 and given the responsibility of monitoring the concentrations and assessing the effects of selected anthropogenic pollutants in all compartments of the Arctic. The first AMAP assessment report, published in 1998, points out gaps in our current understanding of contaminant inputs, their transport processes and food web interactions. In addition, the AMAP report noted a serious lack of information about persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the U.S. and Russian Arctic. Thus, the recommendations of the first AMAP report were to: monitor spatial distribution, contaminant levels and biological effects of POPs; improve the understanding of the adverse effects of POPs on human populations; and fill existing data gaps, specifically in the U.S. and Russia. In this work, we plan to identify sources of scientific information (e.g., published reports, datasets) on POPs in the U.S. Arctic and obtain these data for AMAP. Once data sources are identified, a small group of scientific experts will be assembled for a workshop to determine if any pertinent sources have been overlooked and to give advice on how best to evaluate, analyze, summarize and disseminate the information obtained. A working database will be designed so that the data and scientifically important findings or conclusions from each study can be organized and evaluated. Data will be analyzed statistically, as appropriate, to determine spatial and temporal trends. The data and scientific findings that have been collected and analyzed will then be summarized into text, for inclusion in the next AMAP publication on POPs. This major effort of synthesizing the existing data from the U.S. Arctic will ensure that the AMAP report adequately presents the accomplishments of U.S. scientists and research programs. The written publication and the summarized U.S. POPs data will also be presented as a U.S. AMAP Internet page linked to the International AMAP Internet page.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) SEARCH Data management assessment Phase II