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Concentrations of Cd, Pb, Mn and Zn in Feathers and Diet in Heron Chicks in Korea


The feathers and diet items of grey heron (Ardea cinerea) and black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) chicks were collected at the Pyeongtaek colony, Korea in 2002 and 2008, and Cd, Pb, Mn and Zn concentrations were measured. Cd and Zn concentrations were higher in both species in 2008 than 2002 and were higher in grey herons than black-crowned night-herons in 2002. In 2008, Cd concentrations were higher in black-crowned night-herons than grey herons; Zn concentrations did not differ between species. Pb and Mn concentrations did not differ between species; however, there were yearly differences. Cd, Pb and Zn concentrations of feathers and diet were significantly correlated when species and years were combined. However, the predictive power of these relationships was limited because of species and yearly differences. All heron chicks had concentrations of Cd (<2 μg/g dw) and Pb (<4 μg/g dw) consistent with background concentrations for wild birds. Mn and Zn concentrations were within the range reported for other heron and egret species.

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We are grateful on Thomas W. Custer (USGS) for a critical reading and comments on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Jong-Min Oh.

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Kim, J., Oh, J. Concentrations of Cd, Pb, Mn and Zn in Feathers and Diet in Heron Chicks in Korea. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 94, 66–70 (2015).

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  • Heron chicks
  • Feathers
  • Diet items
  • Cd
  • Pb