Abstract

Environmental contaminants endanger human health and non-target organisms such as crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) that live in aquatic bodies surrounding agricultural areas. Due to their intrinsic characteristics, these organisms could be bioaccumulating and transmitting organochlorine pesticides (OCs) to their eggs. The objectives of this study were to determine the OCs in infertile eggs of C. acutus from Sinaloa and their correlation with the morphometric characteristics (MC), and to perform a preliminary estimate of the ecological risk due to the presence of pesticides using the PERPEST model. In June 2022, 76 infertile eggs (Ie) were collected: 57 from wild areas (Wa) and 19 from a crocodile farm (CSMf). Determination of OC in Ie was performed according to the USEPA method 8081b, modified. The observed percentages of Ie in Wa were 31.48% and 21.33% in CSMf. Twenty OCs were detected in the Ie, where dieldrin recorded the highest average concentration in Wa (6542.6ng/g), and endosulfan-II in the CSMf (2172.8ng/g). Bad negative and positive correlations were observed between OCs and MC, standing out the correlations between endosulfan-II and %Ie (-0.688) in the Wa, Cedritos drain, and between endrin and the weight of Ie (0.786) of the CSMf. The evaluation of the ecological risks of the aquatic environment due to the presence of OCs follow the sequence cyclodienes > aromatic > alicyclic hydrocarbons. A potential risk to the endocrine health of the species C. acutus was observed. Crocodiles are excellent biological models for monitoring the effects of OCs.

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