Tropical mammals under rising chemical pollution pressure, study warns

Tropical mammals under rising chemical pollution pressure, study warns

Tropical mammals are living in an ever-changing chemical landscape warns a recent study, with wildlife increasingly exposed to an array of plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and nanoparticles.

The recent study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, warns that this underrecognized threat requires urgent action.

Colin Chapman, a biologist and professor at George Washington University, and his colleagues reviewed the body of scientific literature investigating the scope of the “chemical landscape” inhabited by tropical terrestrial mammals.

A recurrent theme: a paucity of studies covering the topic offered only glimpses of the effects of pollutants.

“As a society we are intentionally poisoning tropical wildlife,” Chapman told Mongabay. “We don’t know the effects of it, but we know we’re poisoning them. We know we’re poisoning ourselves and despite this knowledge, we’re not acting.”

Lead Image: Mountain gorillas thrive on rainforest foliage, but if that foliage happens to be tea leaves sprayed with pesticides on national park-adjacent plantations, they can be poisoned. Image by Ludovic Hirlimann via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

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