Tropical mammals under rising chemical pollution pressure

Environmental News from the USA: 

  • Pesticides, pharmaceuticals, plastics, nanoparticles, and other potentially toxic synthetic materials are being released into the environment in ever greater amounts. A recent study warns that action is needed to better monitor and understand their impacts on terrestrial mammals in the tropics.
  • Mortality and mass die-offs could result, but sublethal effects — such as reduced fitness or fertility — are perhaps of greater concern in the long-term, warn experts.
  • In the research, scientists raise concerns over an increasing load of chemicals released into the tropical environment, with little monitoring conducted to understand the impacts on wildlife.
  • Another study released this year reported that the novel entities’ planetary boundary have been transgressed. Novel entities include pesticides and other synthetic substances. The boundary was declared breached because scientific assessments can’t keep up with new chemicals entering the environment.

Tropical mammals are living in an ever-changing chemical landscape, warns a recent study, with wildlife increasingly exposed to an array of plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and nanoparticles. The recent study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, warns that this underrecognized threat requires urgent action.

Colin Chapman, a biologist and professor at George Washington University, and his colleagues reviewed the body of scientific literature investigating the scope of the “chemical landscape” inhabited by tropical terrestrial mammals. A recurrent theme: a paucity of studies covering the topic offered only glimpses of the effects of pollutants.

“As a society, we are intentionally poisoning tropical wildlife,” Chapman told Mongabay. “We don’t know the effects of it, but we know we’re poisoning them. We know we’re poisoning ourselves, and despite this knowledge, we’re not acting.”

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Source: Mongabay

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