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Total and Organic Mercury in Liver, Kidney and Muscle of Waterbirds from Wetlands of the Caspian Sea, Iran


We measured and compared total and organic mercury in liver, kidney, and muscle of the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and coot (Fulica atra) from the Caspian Sea wetlands in Iran. For the Great Cormorant organic mercury in liver, kidney and muscle comprised 82 %, 79 % and 58 % of total mercury. In the mallard same values were 46 %, 54 %, and 64 %. For coot total mercury was: 0.1 ± 0.0, 0.1 ± 0.01, 0.03 ± 0.01 in liver kidney and muscle respectively. We detected no organic mercury. In general older birds that feed on higher trophic levels can accumulate more mercury in their tissues.

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This study was funded by Tarbiat Modares University of Iran. We are also indebted to: Majidi, Kazemi, Amarlou, and Abass for sample collection, and Mrs. Haghdost for lab assistance.

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Correspondence to J. Aazami or M. Savabieasfahani.

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Aazami, J., Esmaili-Saria, A., Bahramifar, N. et al. Total and Organic Mercury in Liver, Kidney and Muscle of Waterbirds from Wetlands of the Caspian Sea, Iran. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 96–101 (2012).

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  • Total mercury
  • Organic mercury
  • The Great Cormorant
  • Coot
  • Caspian Sea
  • Iran