Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Heavy metal concentrations in female wild mink (Neovison vison) in Sweden: Sources of variation and associations with internal organ weights

Ljungvall, Karl; Magnusson, Ulf; Korvela, Marcus; Norrby, Mattias; Bergquist, Jonas; Persson, Sara


The American mink is an invasive species in Sweden, and it is legally hunted all year. Therefore, the mink is well suited as a sentinel species for environmental monitoring. In the present study female mink (n = 91) from 6 different areas in Sweden were analyzed for the concentrations of silver, cadmium, mercury and lead in liver tissue using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The wet concentrations in liver tissue were 42.6 +/- 52.7 ng/g for silver, 99.5 +/- 100 ng/g for cadmium, 652 +/- 537 ng/g formercury, and 196 +/- 401 ng/g for lead (expressed as mean + standard deviation). There were associations between the sample area and the concentrations of silver, lead, and mercury. The concentrations of lead and cadmium varied with season of capture and lead, cadmium, and mercury were positively associated with increasing age. Relative liver weight was positively associated with concentrations of mercury and negatively associated with lead and cadmium. Relative kidney weight was negatively associated with lead concentrations. In summary, it is of importance to take age and season of capture into account when assessing levels of heavy metals in wild mink. Also, liver and kidneys seem to be potential targets for heavy metal toxicity in wild female mink in Sweden. (C) 2016 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC


Wildlife toxicology; Metal accumulation; Metal toxicity; Mink; Liver; Kidney

Published in

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
2017, Volume: 36, number: 8, pages: 2030-2035