Lead in terrestrial game birds from Spain
Environmental Science & Pollution Research, November 2019
Diego Romero, Antonio de José, Juan M. Theureau, Andrés Ferrer, María D. Raigón, Juan B. Torregrosa
We analysed exposure to Pb and its relationship with lead-based ammunition in seven species of terrestrial game birds-common woodpigeon (Columba palumbus), rock dove (Columba livia), stock dove (Columba oenas), European turtle-dove (Streptopelia turtur), red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), Barbary partridge (Alectoris barbara) and common quail (Coturnix coturnix)-from rural and urban areas in different parts of Spain (Valencia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Madrid, Islas Canarias and Navarra). A total of 530 liver samples were analysed, and the presence of Pb pellets was studied in the crop, gizzard and intestine; the state and appearance of these organs were also analysed. The number of specimens suspected to have ingested Pb shot was 28 (5.6%), and the geometric mean concentration of hepatic Pb was 0.054 μg g-1 (wet weight, ww). A low percentage of samples (4.8%) were above the abnormal exposure threshold (0.65 μg g-1 ww), and, in these specimens, renal Pb concentrations were determined. Common woodpigeons and rock doves from Madrid were found to have high concentrations of Pb in their livers, and, so, both species can be considered to be good bioindicators of Pb contamination in rural (common woodpigeons) and urban (rock doves) environments. Partridges bred for hunting may be more prone to ingesting pellets from the environment, a fact that should be taken into account in management decisions.
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