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High Level of Mercury Found in Pumas Linked to Coastal Fog
High-levels of monomethylmercury (MMHg) has been detected in pumas (Puma concolor) roaming coastal central California, USA. Coastal fog has been implicated as the likely culprit.

Pumas and their associated food web in coastal central California live in a region that is regularly inundated with marine fog. The researchers found that adult puma fur and whisker samples from fog-influenced study region had three times more mean total mercury (THg) levels than that in comparable samples collected from pumas living further inland.

According to researchers, mercury in the sea comes from coal-fired power stations and gold mining activities. Forest fires and volcanic eruptions also contribute but only one in five mercury atoms are from these natural sources. Human pollution is the biggest contributor.

 
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Pesticides: A Key Concern for the Great Barrier Reef - Pollution and declining water quality are a couple of key threats faced by the Great Barrier Reef. In 2009 a pesticide monitoring program collected samples at eleven sites; at least two pesticides were detected at every site. Diuron, atrazine, and metolachlor exceeded Australian and New Zealand water quality guidelines at eight sites.


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