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Multidisciplinary Study of Radionuclides and Heavy Metal Concentrations in Wildlife on Phosphate Mined and Reclaimed Lands


The purpose of this project was to evaluate the degree, if any, of radionuclide enhancement in the tissues of certain Florida vertebrate species on lands impacted by phosphate mining. “Impacted” was interpreted to include both clay settling ponds and also natural lakes and ponds adjacent to and, at least historically, subject to runoff from mined areas. The species selected included the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), the Florida softshell turtle (Trionyx ferox), and the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), and provision was also made for inclusion of opportunistically-collected specimens of other vertebrate species. Control collecting sites included both mineralized (phosphate-bearing) but unmined and non-mineralized areas.