Tissue lead concentrations and blood characteristics of mourning doves from Southwestern Virginia

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Studies were conducted on the feasibility of sampling the blood from live mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) as a technique for evaluating lead exposure in this species. Measurements of the blood enzyme, delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD), were essentially the same in blood from the brachial vein or trunk blood. The ALAD activity decreased as liver lead concentration increased in mourning doves. Mourning doves that ingested lead shot had elevated lead concentrations in their femur bones and livers as compared to other doves which had not recently ingested lead shot.