Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 833–843 | Cite as

Heavy-metal concentrations in feathers of cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus L.) as an endangered species in Turkey

  • Elif YamacEmail author
  • Menekse Ozden
  • Cihangir Kirazli
  • Semra Malkoc
Research Article


The aim of this study is to find out the certain heavy-metal levels in the feathers of cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus L.), which is a threatened species. The feathers of the cinereous vultures were collected from the breeding areas in Sündiken and Türkmenbaba Mountains. To avoid misleading results, vanes and calamuses of the rectrices were evaluated separately in terms of their As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn contents. ICP-OES was used to analyse the metal levels in feathers which belonged to 43 different individuals. All of the heavy-metal concentrations except for Cu were higher in vanes than in calamuses. The mean levels of Cd (0.254 ± 1.589 μg/g d.w. in the calamus and 0.334 ± 0.156 μg/g d.w. in the vane), Cr (6.536 ± 6.378 μg/g d.w. in the vane), Ni (11.886 ± 10.891 μg/g d.w. in the vane) and Pb (5.671 ± 3.884 μg/g d.w. in the vane) exceeded the threshold values for the birds. As a result, we recommend further studies to understand the effects of the heavy metals on the population of the species.


Aegypius monachus Anatolia Heavy metal Non-invasive method Feather Threatened species 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology, Science FacultyEskişehir Technical UniversityEskişehirTurkey
  2. 2.Graduate School of SciencesAnadolu UniversityEskişehirTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife Ecology and ManagementAbant İzzet Baysal UniversityBoluTurkey
  4. 4.Porsuk Vocational SchoolEskişehir Technical UniverstiyEskişehirTurkey

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