The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) as an Environmental Bioindicator Species of Heavy Metal Contamination

  • Mauro Giammarino
  • Piero Quatto
  • Stefania Squadrone
  • Maria Cesarina Abete


This study aims to examine the possible presence of lead and cadmium in the liver and kidneys of hooded crows (Corvus cornix). Liver and kidneys of hooded crow carcasses were collected in Province of Cuneo (Piedmont, Italy) in order to detect lead and cadmium content. Significant differences were found in lead and cadmium levels between areas of intensive cultivation versus areas where meadows are prevalent. Moreover, age greatly influenced the burden of heavy metals, while sex did not seem to affect the level of contamination. The source of contamination may be phosphate fertilizers used for intensive cultivation in the study area.


Heavy metals Corvus cornix Bioindicator species Cadmium Lead 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauro Giammarino
    • 1
  • Piero Quatto
    • 2
  • Stefania Squadrone
    • 3
  • Maria Cesarina Abete
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Prevention Asl CN 1CuneoNichelinoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Management and StatisticsUniversity of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  3. 3.Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’AostaTurinItaly

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