Utility and Vulnerability Ranking Programs for Terrestrial Vertebrates

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To assist decision makers in risk assessments, two sets of indices have been developed to rank terrestrial vertebrates for their utility in biomonitoring and susceptibility to the following contaminants:

  • Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Cholinesterase-Inhibiting Pesticides
  • Petroleum Crude Oil
  • Mercury
  • Lead Shot

The Utility Indices rank the suitability of terrestrial vertebrate species as potential sentinels of exposure to contaminants in a region.

The Vulnerability Indices rank susceptibility of populations upon exposure to contaminants in a region.

The Utility and Vulnerability Indices can be applied to many types of habitats and can be of value to natural resource managers that routinely conduct local, regional, or national environmental quality assessments.