Letter | Published:

Trophic Level Effect on the Accumulation of Cæsium-137 in Cougars feeding on Mule Deer

Naturevolume 204pages708709 (1964) | Download Citation



IN aquatic ecosystems, cæsium-137 levels in predators exceed those of herbivores under conditions of equal contamination of the environment1–3. Examples of the step-wise increase in contamination-levels of cæsium-137 in four species of fish representing three trophic levels, and an explanation of the reason for the increase, will be published soon4. To our knowledge, no example of trophic level increase has been demonstrated in terrestrial wildlife, although an approximate 2- to 3-fold increase in cæsium-137 in man over his integrated food has been reported by several workers5–7, and similar results were obtained by feeding cæsium-137 to animals8,9.

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    Conservation Officers, Tuttle, K., Dahlberg, J., and Regional Game Manager Stapley, H., of the Utah State Department of Fish and Game, kindly supplied the cougars, which had been taken by hunting parties.

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  1. Department of Radiological Health, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

    • , R. D. LLOYD
    • , C. W. MAYS
    •  & B. W. CHURCH


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