2019-2020 Temporal and Spatial Trends of Legacy and Emerging Organic and Metal/Element Contaminants in Canadian Polar Bears

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the top predator of the arctic marine ecosystem and food web. Starting in 2007 and ongoing into the 2019-2020 fiscal year, on a biennial (even years for polar bears) or annual basis, this project seeks to determine long-term temporal trends and changes of NCP priority persistent (legacy and emerging) organic and elemental pollutants (POPs) in polar bears and focusing on the southern and western Hudson Bay (Nunavut) subpopulations. Up to 2017, legacy POPs such as PCBs continue to be present at high levels in fat and have generally not decreased since 1991 for WHB bears and since 2006 for SHB bears. For the flame retardant POPs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), priority congeners and the å5PBDE concentrations in fat from the early 1990s to the early 2000s increased consistently and significantly in the WHB bears, but afterward the increase continued to 2017 but was » 5 - 10 times slower. There was no apparent temporal change for the SHB bears from 2006 to 2017. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) was the highest concentration of any fluorinated contaminant in the liver, and at higher levels in SHB compared to WHB bears. From 2007 to 2017, in general there were no significant temporal changes for bears from either subpopulation. Total mercury levels in liver collected from 2007 to 2018 from WHB and SHB bears were comparable but levels were variable from year to year, although showing no significant change. These POP levels were all not corrected for the possible influence of confounding factors. To more clearly reveal the temporal trends, scientific and Indigenous Knowledge (IK) data is and will continue to be collected for e.g. age, sex, body condition, time of collection, lipid content, diet, food web structure and climate change variables. Arctic Indigenous peoples are integral partners as they carry out the annual harvest of polar bears and provide the collected tissue samples for this POP/Hg monitoring. Polar bear contaminant results will be communicated back to participating HTOs, hunters and communities through consultations, scheduled workshops and visitations, reports, and summary fact sheets.

Source https://www.polardata.ca/pdcsearch/PDCSearchDOI.jsp?doi_id=13130
Metadata Access http://www.polardata.ca/oai/provider?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=fgdc&identifier=13130_fgdc
Creator Letcher, Robert; Dyck, Markus; Heath, Joel; Kruemmel, Eva; Morris, Adam; Ware, Jasmine
Publisher Canadian Cryospheric Information Network
Contributor Polar Data Catalogue
Publication Year 2020
Rights Research programs, CCIN, or ArcticNet take no liability for the use or transmission of this data
OpenAccess true
Contact robert.letcher(at)ec.gc.ca; pdc(at)uwaterloo.ca
Language English
Format Computer file
Discipline Environmental Research
Spatial Coverage (-94.220W, 56.800S, -67.420E, 72.700N)
Temporal Coverage Begin 2019-04-01T00:00:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2020-03-31T00:00:00Z