SREL Reprint #2475

 

 

 

Reptile toxicology: challenges and opportunities on the last frontier in vertebrate ecotoxicology

William A. Hopkins

Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, South Carolina, USA

To the Editor:
In the wake of a changing global environment, reptile populations, like those of other vertebrates, appear to be declining [1]. The Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation recently identified six major threats to reptile populations, most of which were anthropogenic in nature [1]. Environmental pollutants were among the threats identified, but little empirical evidence currently exists to document the frequency and severity of their contamination. Although reptiles surely face a multitude of challenges when exposed to chemicals in the environment, they have remained poorly studied in ecotoxicology. Therefore, the purpose of this letter is to identify reptiles as grossly underexamined vertebrate taxa that deserve immediate attention from ecotoxicologists. In addition, this letter will discuss the biological traits that make reptiles excellent study organisms for certain ecotoxicological investigations and future research priorities and challenges in reptile toxicology. . . .

SREL Reprint #2475

Hopkins, W. A. 2000. Reptile toxicology: challenges and opportunities on the last frontier in vertebrate ecotoxicology. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 19:2391-2393.

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