Comparing erosion and organ accumulation rates of lead and alternative lead-free ammunition fed to captive domestic ducks
- 4 Downloads
Lead poisoning of birds of prey from ingestion of ammunition lead has been well documented. Alternative, lead-free ammunition is widely available, but the toxicokinetics of other metals in birds are poorly understood. We tested the erosion of lead, copper, zinc, iron and brass by feeding domestic Pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos forma domestica) defined numbers of small metal pellets. The accumulation of these metals was analysed in the breast muscle, brain, pancreas, liver and kidney. Four weeks after application, the ducks were euthanized and necropsied, internal organs tested for metal accumulation and gizzard pellets collected and weighed to record loss by erosion. Degree of erosion was highest in zinc pellets (81% mass loss), followed by iron (46%) and lead (45%) and was only marginal in copper and brass. Only lead showed highly elevated levels of accumulation in organs compared to controls.
KeywordsBrass Bullet Copper Hunting ammunition Iron Lead Lead poisoning Pellet Zinc
We are grateful to Anna Trinogga and Vivien Hoffmann for helping us performing radiographs of the ducks, to Zoltan Mezö, Felix Lackmann and Kirsi Blank for supporting us during the necropsy of the birds and Marion Biering for technical support in the histo-pathological laboratory. We would like to express our gratitude to Karsten Knop and co-workers for taking care of the ducks during the experiment. The project (FKZ 0330720A) was partly funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). Finally, we like to thank Bård-Jørgen Bårdsen and Liam Bailey for re-computing the box-plot graphs. We would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers and the guest editor who helped to improve the quality of the manuscript.
Research involving animal rights
The trail of studying the erosion, accumulation and toxicity of the different metals and alloys used as material for hunting ammunition in captive ducks under controlled conditions has been approved by the responsible state agency: Lower-Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety under the registration number 33.11.42502-04-084/07.
- Clemens, E.T., L. Krook, A.L. Aronson, and C.E. Stevens. 1975. Pathogenesis of lead shot poisoning in the mallard duck. The Cornell Veterinarian 65: 248–285.Google Scholar
- Eisler, R. 1998. Copper hazards to fish, wildlife, and invertebrates: a synoptic review. U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Biological Science Report USGS/BRD/BSR–1998-0002. Contaminant Hazard Reviews, Report No. 33, Laurel, Maryland, USA.Google Scholar
- Environment Canada. 1993. Toxicity test guidelines for non-toxic shot for hunting migratory birds. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 9ppGoogle Scholar
- Haschke, M., Scholz, W., and U. Theis. 1998. X-Ray Fluorescence in the μm-range using capillary lenses. Proceedings of EDXRF-98, Bologna 1998, 157.Google Scholar
- Hooser, S.B. 2012. Iron. In Veterinary toxicology. Basic and clinical principles, 2nd ed, ed. R.C. Gupta, 433–437. Amsterdam: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Jordan, J.S., and F.C. Bellrose. 1950. Shot alloys and lead poisoning in waterfowl. Transactions of the North American Wildlife Conference, San Francisco, California, Wildlife Management Institute, Washington, pp. 155–170.Google Scholar
- Kelly, M.E., S.D. Fitzgerald, R.J. Aulerich, R.J. Balander, D.C. Powell, R.L. Stickle, W. Stevens, C. Cray, R.J. Tempelman, and S.J. Bursian. 1998. Acute effects of lead, steel, tungsten-iron, and tungsten polymer shot administered to game-farm mallards. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 34: 673–687.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Levengood, J.M., G.C. Sanderson, W.L. Anderson, G.L. Foley, L.M. Skowron, P.W. Brown, and J.W. Seets. 1999. Acute toxicity of ingested zinc shot to game-farm mallards. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 36: 1–36.Google Scholar
- Locke, L.N., N.J. Thomas, and London. 1996. Lead poisoning of waterfowl and raptors. In Noninfectious diseases of wildlife, ed. A. Fairbrother, L.N. Locke, and G.L. Hoff, 108–117. London: Manson.Google Scholar
- Mateo, R. 2009. Lead poisoning in wild birds in Europe and the regulations adopted by different countries. In Ingestion of lead from spent ammunition: implications for wildlife and humans, ed. R.T. Watson, M. Fuller, M. Pokras, and W.G. Hunt, 71–98. Boise: The Peregrine Fund.Google Scholar
- Mitchell, R.R., S.D. Fitzgerald, R.J. Aulerich, R.J. Balander, D.C. Powell, R.J. Tempelman, R.L. Stickle, W. Stevens, et al. 2001. Health effects following chronic dosing with tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer shot in adult game-farm mallards. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 37: 451–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pain, D.J. ed. 1992. Lead poisoning in waterfowl. Proceedings of an IWRB Workshop, Brussels, Belgien, 13–15.Juni 1991, IWRB Special Publication No. 16, IWPB, Slimbridge, UK, 105pp.Google Scholar
- Pain, D.J. 1996. Lead in waterfowl. In Environmental contaminants in wildlife–Interpreting tissue concentrations. ed. W.N. Beyer, G.H. Heinz, and A.W. Redmoon-Norwod, 251–264.CRC Press, Boca Raton.Google Scholar
- Pain, D.J., I.J. Fisher, and V.G. Thomas. 2009. A global update of lead poisoning in terrestrial birds from ammunition sources. In Ingestion of lead from spent ammunition: implications for wildlife and humans, ed. R.T. Watson, M. Fuller, M. Pokras, and W.G. Hunt, 99–118. The Peregrine Fund: Boise.Google Scholar
- Scheuhammer, A.M., and S.L. Norris. 1995. A review of the environmental impacts of lead shotshell and lead fishing weights in Canada. Occasional Paper No. 88, 54. Ottawa: Canadian Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
- USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife service). 2006. Migratory bird hunting approval of tungsten iron-copper-nickel, iron-tungsten-nickel alloy, tungsten-bronze (additional information), and tungsten-iron-tin shot types as non-toxic for hunting waterfowl and coots: availability of environmental assessments. Federal Register 71: 4294–4297.Google Scholar
- Wolff, T. 2009. Referenzprobenfreie quantitative Mikro-Röntgenanalyse. BAM-Dissertationsreihe, Band 50, 212pp.Google Scholar