Environmentally acquired lead, cadmium, and manganese in the cattle egret,Bubulcus ibis, and the laughing gull,Larus atricilla

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Abstract

The concentrations of lead, cadmium, and manganese in the tissues of cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) and laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) gathered from the Galveston Bay region of Texas were compared, to determine if different patterns of accumulation exist. Their levels in these species were within the range reported for other bird species. Lead levels in bone were comparable, but gulls had more lead in brain, kidney and liver tissues than the egrets, which suggested a higher rate of accumulation or exposure. Due to their high abundance and comparable positions in the estuarine and terrestrial food webs, it is suggested thatBubulcus ibis andLarus atricilla may serve as convenient biological indicators to monitor potentially toxic substances in these ecosystems.