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Arsenic, Cadmium, Copper, Lead, and Selenium in Migrating Blue-Winged Teal (Anas discors L.)

  • A. M. FedynichEmail author
  • B. M. Ballard
  • T. J. McBride
  • J. A. Estrella
  • J. M. Garvon
  • M. J. Hooper
Article

Abstract

The blue-winged teal (Anas discors L.), an abundant waterfowl species in North America, winters primarily in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Its transcontinental migratory behavior provides the opportunity to examine contaminant acquisition across a diverse biogeographic landscape that has varied environmental regulations and wildlife laws. We determined concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and selenium (Se) in liver samples of blue-winged teal migrating through southern Texas during autumn 1998 (n = 47) and spring 1999 (n = 46). Concentrations for As (range 0.006 to 0.22 μg/g wet weight [ww]), Cd (range 0.007 to 8.14 μg/g ww), and Pb (range 0.012 to 1.79 μg/g ww) were at background levels for birds, whereas Cu (8.1 to 227.3 μg/g ww) and Se (0.36 to 5.07 μg/g ww) were increased in several individuals. All 24 hatch-year (HY) blue-winged teal had detectable levels of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Se, and eight had detectable levels of As. A seasonal effect was found for Cd, in which the mean Cd concentration in autumn was lower (p < 0.015) than in spring. Comparisons between autumn-collected HY and autumn-collected after-hatch-year (AHY) blue-winged teal found the mean concentration of Cd was higher (p < 0.001) in AHY birds. A seasonal effect occurred for Cu, in which the mean concentration was higher (p < 0.001) in autumn than in spring. Comparisons between seasons using only AHY blue-winged teal found that the mean concentration of Cu was higher (p < 0.001) in autumn than in spring. No sex effects (p > 0.05) were found for the five elements examined. Results indicated that blue-winged teal were acquiring all five elements; that HY blue-winged teal were exposed to these elements in North America; and that increased Se concentrations in 15% of the 93-bird sample were at levels known to cause impairment in birds.

Keywords

Seasonal Effect Female Bird Diving Duck Southern High Plain Waterfowl Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the numerous landowners for property access and acknowledge J. W. Glass, B. Lambert, and D. B. Pence for assistance with field collections. Financial support was provided by the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. This is manuscript No. 06-124 of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Fedynich
    • 1
    Email author
  • B. M. Ballard
    • 1
  • T. J. McBride
    • 2
  • J. A. Estrella
    • 1
  • J. M. Garvon
    • 1
  • M. J. Hooper
    • 2
  1. 1.Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteTexas A&M University-KingsvilleKingsvilleUSA
  2. 2.The Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental ToxicologyTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

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