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E-M:/ feminized turtles and gulls found along Detroit River

Enviro-Mich message from Mary Beth Doyle <marybeth@ecocenter.org>


Polluted lakes turning turtles into turtlettes


  Wednesday, Apr. 28, 2004

TORONTO -- Canadian researchers studying wildlife on the Great Lakes have
found sexual abnormalities in male snapping turtles, with penis size 
diminished and some males able to produce egg yolk protein, a 
capability normally found only in females.....

The turtles with abnormal penis size were found in Ontario: in the Detroit
River near Windsor, the St. Clair River near Sarnia, and the harbour 
of Wheatley, a small fishing community on Lake Erie. All three sites 
are pollution hot spots....

Additional work by the scientists on herring gulls discovered the egg
protein in some male birds along the Detroit River...

Gulls from the Detroit River showed impaired immune systems. There were
also high numbers of dead gull embryos in nests along the Detroit 
River and in western Lake Erie, compared to cleaner sites, and a 
single male bird with what the Environment Canada research summary 
called a "significantly feminized
reproductive tract."


Mary Beth Doyle, MPH
Environmental Health Project
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor MI 48104

734-663-2400 ext 108
734-663-2414 (fax)


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