Assessing the impacts of POPs on wildlife in the Lerma-Chapala watershed
This project proposes to assess the impacts of POPs on colonial waterbirds nesting along the Lerma-Chapala watershed. The overall objective is to determine the environmental impacts of persistent organic pollutants, including pesticides, PCBs, and PBDEs on wildlife of the Lerma River and tributaries using colonial waterbirds as indicator species. There are over 5,000 industries located along the Lerma River and tributaries. Some of these big industries include oil refineries, chemical and plastic manufacturing, textile and paper mills, metal processing, automotive industry, and two thermoelectrical plants. Although not well documented, it is perceived that many of these big industries discharge their residual waters, without any treatment, directly to the Lerma River. In this study we will select three main regions along the Lerma River, primarily wetlands with nesting bird colonies to evaluate potential effects of pollutants on nesting success of waterbirds. Three colonies will be followed during the breeding season. In this preliminary assessment, eggs will be collected for chemical analyses from a determined number of individuals and nests at each colony. The samples will be analyzed for the compounds of interest at the laboratory facilities of CIIDIR and at the Geochemical and Environmental Research Lab at Texas A&M University. One Master’s student will participate in this project and will use the results of this research as part of his/her Thesis. All the required permits for collection of samples and transportation to the laboratory will be obtained prior to the initiation of work. Our project objectives contribute to the monitoring goal of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation regarding regulations of persistent organic pollutants in North America; and the Mexico’s action plan for reducing and preventing hazards of POPs to biota and humans.
Dioselina Alvarez-Bernal, Ph.D.
Profesora Titular B del CIIDIR-IPN, Unidad Michoacán
Calle Justo Sierra 28, Centro. Jiquilpan, Michoacán. C.P. 59510