Reporting in an article to be published Sept. 15 in the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology, Canadian researchers say the difference in the concentration of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) is "profound" between grizzly bears who eat lots of salmon and those that don't. The measurements were made by examining hair and fat samples from two groups of grizzly bears in the British Columbia region of Canada. One group included bears that had a steady diet of terrestrial foods, the other group included bears that shifted to marine food when the salmon returned from the Pacific Ocean to spawn.
Although the overall contaminant concentrations in the grizzlies are lower than many other species of animals that consume marine food, the researchers -- from Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the University of Victoria and Raincoast Conversation Society -- say the reproductive window of the bears could be vulnerable to health impacts.
The online version of the research paper cited above was initially published Aug. 4 on the journal's Web site. Journalists can arrange access to this site by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the contact person for this release.