Exposure to pesticides may increase the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), leading to oxidation of cell membrane lipids and proteins. Although fruit bats are potentially exposed to pesticides during their entire lifespan, the impacts of this exposure are still poorly investigated. We examined the effects of low, commercially recommended concentrations (0, 1.05 and 2.1 g/l) of an organochlorine insecticide endosulfan (EDS) formulation on oxidative responses in the liver and kidneys of Neotropical fruit bats (Artibeus lituratus), as well as possible liver morphological alterations following a 35-day oral exposure. Superoxide dismutase activity was significantly decreased upon exposure to 1.05 g/l of EDS in the liver and kidneys, catalase was decreased in the liver of 2.1 g/l EDS-exposed bats, while glutathione S-transferase was increased in the liver of 2.1 g/l EDS-exposed bats. Protein carbonyls increased following the exposure to the highest EDS dose tested. Endosulfan-induced morphological alterations in the liver included cell degeneration and cell death, with apparent cytoplasm lipid accumulation (steatosis) and pyknotic nuclei, karyolysis and deposit of collagen fibres. Our findings suggest that exposure to low concentrations of EDS induced a certain extent of oxidative damage in fruit bats, which may have led to liver morphological alterations.
We investigated the effects of the insecticide endosulfan on energy metabolism and its possible accumulation in fruit bats. Adult male bats (Artibeus lituratus) were exposed for 35 days, when they were offered fruit treated with endosulfan (E) and adhesive spreader (AS) in the following concentrations (g/L): 0.0; 0.0 (Control), 0.0; 0.015 (AS), 1.05; 0.015 (E1), 2.1; 0.015 (E2). Concentrations used were those recommended by the manufacturer for fruit crop application (E1) or twice this value (E2). E1 bats showed decreased plasma glucose concentration. Carcass fatty acids were decreased in E1 and E2 bats. Endosulfan bioaccumulation was observed in both liver and adipose tissues from E1 and E2 bats. These results indicate that the chronic exposure of fruit bats to environmentally relevant concentrations of endosulfan can lead to significant bioaccumulation beyond control and also decreased fatty acid content, which may impair the health of this important seed disperser in neotropical forests.
Wild animals that feed on garbage waste are a problem in ecological parks as it can substantially alter their food ecology. Wild coatis that occupy human recreation areas in parks are often observed feeding on garbage, but the ecological consequences are scarcely known. Forty-four fecal samples from females and 12 from males of wild coatis living in two ecological parks (Parque Municipal das Mangabeiras (PMM) and Parque Nacional do Caparaó (PNC)) were analyzed. Multivariate statistics were applied to evaluate the interaction between four variables (fecal volume, composition, place and sex of coatis). A significant interaction between the parks and sexes with regard to volume and food category was not found. Ungrouped analysis allowed for the identification of a decreasing gradient in volume from PNC males, followed by PNC females, PMM males, and PMM females. We did not find differences between categories of food between males and females from PNC and PMM, except for invertebrates. Females from PNC consumed more invertebrates than males and females of PMM, but we did not find differences from PNC males. The coatis of both parks primarily consume invertebrates and vegetables, but garbage residues were found in their feces. Garbage fragments, such as paper, glass, metal, plastic and rope, cause a risk to the health, compromising the conservation efforts of wild coatis. Actions are needed to prevent the access of coatis to dumps in both parks.
The coati (Nasua nasua, Linnaeus 1766) is a generalist species, feeding on often-discarded human food in dumpsters around ecological tourism sites. We investigated the body weight and some blood chemistry variables related to the diet of wild coatis from three parks: Parque Municipal das Mangabeiras (PM), Parque Nacional do Caparaó (PNC) e Estação Ecológica Água Limpa (EEAL). We tested the plasma of 53 coatis for high-density lipoprotein (HDL), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), cholesterol (Chol), triglycerides (Trig), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Male and female adults did not significantly differ on the weight (P > 0.05) and blood chemistry indexes (P > 0.05). The adult coatis of the PM were heavier than the adult coatis of the other two parks. There were significant differences in HDL (P < 0.04), AST (P < 0.001), ALT (P < 0.001), and GGT (P < 0.001) between adults of the three parks. Only ALT and ALP were significantly different (P < 0.05) among the young coatis. The results suggested the coatis of the three parks have different health status. The consumption of discarded human food seems to affect body weight of the PM coatis. The coatis from PNC and EEAL had blood chemistry profiles suggestive of liver disorder. We recommend carrying on environmental education programs to visitors and additional clinical investigations on coatis from these parks.
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