Merging Wildlife and Environmental Monitoring Approaches with Forensic Principles: Application of Unconventional and Non-Invasive Sampling in Eco-Pharmacovigilance

Abstract

Pharmaceutical residues in the environment have the potential to harm wildlife. A population’s fragility or an animal’s secretive nature may preclude capture and the use of invasive/destructive sampling techniques that are typically used in a risk assessment. Conventionally favoured matrices gathered opportunistically from carcasses have a finite lifespan, thereby limiting the detection window. This multidisciplinary paper aims to promote the use of non-invasive approaches and optimize use of even the most degraded carcasses. We highlight a selection of promising alternative, unconventional and underutilized sample types that could be applied in environmental monitoring efforts and wildlife forensic investigations. With a focus on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), now under increasing scrutiny in the freshwater and terrestrial environment, we first illustrate current sampling practices and gaps in knowledge by summarizing exposure of: 1) aquatic organisms to urban effluent discharged into waterways, and, 2) scavenging species to veterinary residues in livestock and other carrion. We then consider the merits and limitations of a range of alternative environmentally robust sample options that offer a broader detection interval for NSAIDs, with emphasis on hair, wool and feathers. The viability of eyes/ocular material, bone matter, fecal matter, injection sites, ingesta/pellets and scavenging/coprophagous insects are also discussed.

Description

Collaborative publication with Working Dogs for Conservation; Anglia Ruskin University; The State Laboratory, County Kildare, Ireland; Arcadia University; Agencia de Medio Ambiente y Agua de Andalucía, Spain; Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio de la Junta de Andalucía, Spain and Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF), Switzerland

Keywords

Noninvasive monitoring, Environmental monitoring, Wildlife Forensics, Environmental forensics, NSAID detection in wildlife, Old World vultures, River otter

Citation

Richards, et al. (2014) Merging Wildlife and Environmental Monitoring Approaches with Forensic Principles: Application of Unconventional and Non-Invasive Sampling in Eco-Pharmacovigilance, Forensic Research, 5:3.

Rights

Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)