Biological monitoring of heavy metal contaminations using owls.
Iron, manganese, copper, lead and cadmium were measured in the livers, muscles, kidneys and bones of Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo), Brown Hawk Owls (Nixos scutulata) and Collared Scops Owls (Otus lempiji) from Korea. Iron concentrations by tissue within species did not differ, but there were significant differences among tissues across all species. Manganese and copper concentrations in muscles, kidneys and bones, but not livers, differed among species and also differed among tissues in the three owl species. We suggest that manganese and copper concentrations from this study were far below the level associated with their toxicity. Lead concentrations significantly differed among all species for livers and bones, and among tissues for each species. Cadmium concentrations were significantly different among species for all tissues and among tissues in Eurasian Eagle Owls and Collared Scops Owls. For most samples, lead concentrations in livers and bones, and cadmium in livers and kidneys, were within the background levels for wild birds. For some Eurasian Eagle Owls and Collared Scops Owls, lead concentrations were at an acute exposure level, whilst lead concentrations were at a chronic exposure level in Brown Hawk Owls. Cadmium concentrations were at a chronic exposure level in all three owl species. Acute and chronic poisoning was significantly correlated between indicator tissues. We suggest that lead and cadmium contamination in Eurasian Eagle Owls may reflect a Korean source, Brown Hawk Owls may reflect Korean and wintering sites, and Collared Scops Owls may reflect breeding and/or wintering sites.
Dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do, 446-701, Republic of Korea.
SourceJournal of environmental monitoring : JEM 14:3 2012 Mar pg 1091-7
Bone and Bones
Pub Type(s)Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't