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Title: An Alternative Interpretation of Plasma Selenium Data from Endangered Patagonian Huemul Deer ( Hippocamelus bisulcus )

The prevalence of osteopathology in 57% in the endangered adult Patagonian huemul deer (Hippocamelus bisulcus), malformed antler development, and general lack of recovery were previously suggested to possibly be related to mineral imbalances like selenium (Se) deficiency, and not to stem from fluorosis. From recent bone analyses of these diseased huemul, fluoride levels averaged 58 ppm (SE=10.7), thus eliminating fluorosis as a causal factor for the osteopathology reported in huemul. In contrast, when analyzing high-elevation sites commonly used by extant populations, we found soils deficient in Se. Ashes from recent volcanism also were very low in Se. As Se-responsive diseases in livestock have been documented in Chile, we reclassified recently published Se levels in huemul and determined that 73% were deficient and 18% marginal. Together with these several lines of indirect evidence, we conclude that Se deficiency plays a role in the lack of recovery of huemul populations.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET), Bariloche (Argentina); Univ. of Basel (Switzerland). Swiss Tropical and Public Health Inst.; ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Inst. of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics
  2. Univ. Atlantida Argentina, Bariloche (Argentina). Inst. of Natural Resources Analysis
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Aqueous Separations and Radiochemistry Dept.
  4. Swiss Federal Inst. of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dubendorf (Switzerland). Eawag; ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Inst. of Biogeochemistry and Pollutant Dynamics
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0090-3558; TRN: US1500310
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Wildlife Diseases; Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 4
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; DEER; SELENIUM; ANTLERS; CHILE; SKELETON; BIOLOGICAL RECOVERY; ADULTS; ASHES; MINERALS; SOILS; ABUNDANCE; fluorosis; Hippocamelus bisulcus; huemel; lack of recovery; osteopathology; selenium deficiency