This project aims to look at bio-accumulation of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in a northern food-chain: vegetation – caribou- wolves. These compounds are emerging contaminants of concern in the Arctic, and they have been found in relatively high concentrations in caribou from the Canadian north.
Our results show that PFCs do bioaccumulate in this food chain. Highest PFC concentrations were found in the liver of wolves. The liver concentrations of caribous showed a similar pattern with approximately two to three times lower concentrations. High Levels were found in lichens, and only minor amounts were found in the other two plant types, willow (Salixspp.) and cotton grass (Eriophorum spp.).
Traditional knowledge collected through elder interviews for this project shows the strength of the vegetation – caribou-wolf food chain, and provided a wealth of information about the interrelatedness of caribou and wolves. Click here for a .pdf of the final report.