Non-viable eggs of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) were collected from Gold Button (GBL) and New River lagoons (NRL) in northern Belize and screened for organochlorine (OC) compounds using gas chromatography (GC) with electron capture detection (ECD). All egg samples from both lagoons (n = 24) tested positive for one or more OCs. Primary contaminants were p,p-DDE and methoxychlor, detected in 100% and 29% of the eggs examined, respectively. Concentrations of individual OC contaminants ranged from 1 ppb (ng chemical/g egg) to >0.5 ppm (μg chemical/g egg). Total concentrations of OCs (sum of all OCs) for one egg collected from a nest at GBL reached as high as 0.7 ppm. Sediment samples from both lagoons also tested positive for OCs (lindane, aldrin, methoxychlor, heptachlor epoxide, p,p-DDT, among others). Nest media (soil and plant material) collected from crocodile nests at GBL were positive for p,p-DDT, methoxychlor, aldrin, endosulfan II, and endrin aldehyde. Based on the 24 egg samples analyzed to date, crocodiles from both lagoons are being exposed to OCs. Such exposure may present a health threat to populations of crocodiles in Central America. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
- Central America