In 2008 2009, 998 fish were collected from 43 water bodies across 11 western Alaskan national parks and analyzed for reproductive abnormalities. Exposure to estrogenic substances such as pesticides can induce abnormalities like intersex. Results suggest there is a greater propensity for male intersex fish collected from parks located in the Rocky Mountains, and specifically in Rocky Mountain NP. Individual male intersex fish were also identified at Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite, and WrangellSt. Elias NPs. The preliminary finding of female intersex was determined to be a false positive. The overall goal of this project was to assess the general health of fish from eleven western national parks to infer whether health impacts may be linked to contaminant health thresholds for animal andor human health. This was accomplished by evaluating the presence of intersex fish with eggs developing in male gonads or sperm developing in female gonads using histology. In addition, endocrine disrupting compounds and other contaminants were quantified in select specimens. General histologic appearance of the gonadal tissue and spleen were observed to assess health.
Additional publication details
Federal Government Series
Extent of endocrine disruption in fish of western and Alaskan National Parks
National Park Service
Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit