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Long-Term Survey of Cadmium and Lead Contamination in Japanese Black Bears Captured in Iwate Prefecture, Japan

Sato, Itaru, Yamauchi, Kiyoshi, Tsuda, Shuji
Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2016 v.97 no.6 pp. 806-812
Ursus thibetanus, cadmium, kidneys, lead, lead poisoning, liver, surveys, tissues, wildlife, Japan
Cadmium and lead were measured in liver and kidney samples of 242 Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) captured from 1999 to 2014 from two local populations in Japan. The median concentration of cadmium was 0.54 (mean: 0.80) mg/kg-w.w. in liver and 7.7 (mean: 11.8) mg/kg-w.w. in kidney. The median concentration of lead was 0.24 (mean: 0.40) and 0.21 (mean: 0.32) mg/kg-w.w. in liver and kidney, respectively. Bears in the Kita-ou local population had higher concentrations of cadmium and lead than those in the Kitakami Highlands local population. No chronological change was observed in cadmium levels in tissues, but the percentage of bears whose lead levels exceeded 0.5 mg/kg-w.w. has been decreasing in recent years. Countermeasures against lead poisoning in wildlife, which were instituted in 2002, may have contributed to the decrease in lead contamination of the Japanese black bear.