Skip to main content

Comparison of the Metal Concentrations in the Feathers of Three Bird Species from Southern Iran

Abstract

This study was conducted to determine the concentration of metals, namely cadmium, lead, cobalt and copper, in the feathers of chukar (Alectoris chukar), see–see partridge (Ammoperdix griseogularis) and rock dove (Columba livia) in order to: examine the species, gender and age related variations in trace metal accumulation, and identify any relationships between species. Bird samples were collected in February 2012 from the Hormod protected area, southern Iran and the concentration of metals were measured using a Shimadzu AA 660 flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The concentrations in all three species were copper > lead > cadmium > cobalt. The average cadmium concentrations were 2.0, 1.9, and 1.9 μg/g for A. chukar, A. griseogularis, and C. livia, respectively. The average lead concentrations were 8.0, 5.4, and 7.7 μg/g for A. chukar, A. griseogularis, and C. livia, respectively. The results showed that in all three species, the highest metal concentrations were observed in female/adult birds and the lowest concentrations were found in female/juvenile birds (except lead in A. chukar and copper in C. livia).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Almansour MI (2007) Inter-species differences between lead concentration in the feathers of Pycnonotus leucogenys and Streptopelia seneglenses from different cities of Saudi Arabia. Inter J Zool Res 3:200–206

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Barbieri E, Andrade Passos ED, Filippini A, Souza dos Santos I, Borges Garcia CA (2009) Assessment of trace metal concentration in feathers of seabird (Larus dominicanus) sampled in the Florianópolis, SC, Brazilian coast. Environ Monit Assess. doi:10.1007/s10661-009-1202-4

  3. Battaglia A, Ghidini S, Campanini G, Spaggiari R (2005) Heavy metal contamination in little owl (Athene noctua) and common buzzard (Buteo buteo) from northern Italy. Ecotoxicol Environ Safe 60:61–66

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Breteler RJ (1984) Chemical pollution of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary. NOAA Tech Memo NOS/OMA 7

  5. Bryan GW, Langston WJ (1992) Bioavailability, accumulation and effects of heavy metals in sediments with special reference to United Kingdom estuaries: a review. Environ Pollut 76:89–131

    Google Scholar 

  6. Burger J (1993) Metals in avian feathers: bioindicators of environmental pollution. Rev Environ Toxicol 5:203–311

    Google Scholar 

  7. Burger J (1994) Metals in avian feathers: bioindicators of environmental pollution. Rev Environ Toxicol 5:203–311

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Burger J (1995) Heavy metals and selenium in feathers of Herring gulls (Larus argentatus): differences due to year, gender, and age at Captree, Long Island. Environ Monit Assess 38:37–50

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Burger J, Gochfeld M (2000) Metals in Laysan Albatrosses from Midway Atoll. Arch Environ Contamin Toxicol 38:254–259

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Costa RA, Petronilho JMS, Soares AMVM, Vingada JV (2011) The use of passerine feathers to evaluate heavy metal pollution in central Portugal. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 86:352–356

    Google Scholar 

  11. Custer TW, Mulhern BL (1983) Heavy metal residues in prefledging Black-crowned Night Herons from three Atlantic coast colonies. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 30:178–185

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Dauwe T, Bervoetts L, Blust R, Eens M (2002a) Tissue levels of lead in experimentally dosed zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) with particular attention on the use of feathers as biomonitors. Arch Environ Contamin Toxicol 42:88–92

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Dauwe T, Bervoetts L, Ellen J, Rianne P, Blust R, Eens M (2002b) Great and blue tit feathers as biomonitors for heavy metal pollution. Ecol Indica 1:227–234

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Furness RW, Monaghan P (1987) Seabird ecology. Chapman & Hall, New York, p 164

    Google Scholar 

  15. Goede AA, de Voogt P (1985) Lead and cadmium in waders from the Dutch Wadden Sea. Environ Pollut 37:311–322

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Hindell MA, Brothers N, Gales R (1999) Mercury and cadmium concentrations in the tissues of three species of southern albatrosses. Polar Biol 22:102–108

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Hoff Brait CH, Antoniosi Filho NR (2011) Use of feathers of feral pigeons (Columba livia) as a technique for metal quantification and environmental monitoring. Environ Monit Assess. doi:10.1007/s10661-010-1748-1

  18. Hutton M (1981) Accumulation of heavy metals and selenium in three seabird species from the United Kingdom. Environ Pollut 26:129–145

    Google Scholar 

  19. Janiga M, Zemberyová M (1998) Lead concentration in the bones of the feral pigeons (Columba livia): sources of variation relating to body condition and death. Arch Environ Contamin Toxicol. doi:10.1007/s002449900351

  20. Kim J, Koo TH (2007) The use of feathers to monitor heavy metal contamination in herons, Korea. Arch Environ Contamin Toxicol 53:435–441

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Kim J, Koo TH (2008) Heavy metal concentration in feathers of Korean shorebirds. Arch Environ Contamin Toxicol 55:122–128

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Lakshmanan R, Kesavan K, Vijayanand P, Rajaram V, Rajagopal S (2009) Heavy metals accumulation in five commercially important fishes of Parangipettai, Southeast Coast of India. Advan J Food Sci Technol 1:63–65

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Llacuna S, Gorriz A, Sanperra C, Nadal J (1995) Metal accumulation in three species of passerine birds (Emberiza cia, Parus major, and Turdus merula) subjected to air pollution from a coal-fired power plant. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 28:298–303

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Mansouri B, Pourkhabbaz A, Babaei H, Houshyari E (2011) Heavy metal contamination in feathers of Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis) and Siberian gull (Larus heuglini) from Hara biosphere reserve of Southern Iran. Environ Monit Assess. doi:10.1007/s10661-011-2408-9

  25. Mansouri B, Pourkhabbaz A, Babaei H, Hoshyari E, Khodaparast SH, Mirzajani A (2012) Assessment of trace metal concentration in Western Reef Heron (Egretta gularis) and Siberian gull (Larus heuglini) from southern Iran. Arch Environ Contamin Toxicol 63:280–287

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Nam DH, Lee DP, Koo TH (2004) Monitoring for lead pollution using feathers of Feral pigeons (Columba livia) from Korea. Environ Monit Assess. doi:10.1023/B:EMAS.0000029898.28393.30

  27. Newbury TK (1979) Possible accumulation of heavy metals around offshore oil production facilities in the Beaufort Sea. Arctic 32:42–45

    Google Scholar 

  28. Roginski EE, Mertz W (1977) A biphasic response of rats to cobalt. J Nutrit 107:1537–1542

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  29. Schmitt-Jansen M, Veit U, Dudel G, Altenburger R (2008) An ecological perspective in aquatic ecotoxicology: approaches and challenges. Basic Appl Ecol 9:337–345

    Google Scholar 

  30. Spahn SA, Sherry TW (1999) Cadmium and lead exposure associated with reduced growth rates, poorer fledging success of Little Blue Heron chicks (Egretta caerulea). Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 37:377–384

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Tom D, Bervoets L, Blust R, Pinxten R, Eens M (1999) Are eggshell and egg contents of great and blue tits suitable as indicators of heavy metal pollution? Belgian J Zool 129:439–447

    Google Scholar 

  32. Zamani-Ahmadmahmoodi R, Esmaili-Sari A, Savabieasfahani M, Ghasempouri SM (2009) Mercury in wetland birds of Iran and Iraq: contrasting resident Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus, and migratory common Teal, Anas crecca, life strategies. Bull Environ Contamin Toxicol 82:450–453

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Mohsen Norouzi or Borhan Mansouri.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Norouzi, M., Mansouri, B., Hamidian, A.H. et al. Comparison of the Metal Concentrations in the Feathers of Three Bird Species from Southern Iran. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 1082–1086 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-012-0798-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Hormod protected area
  • Chukar
  • Rock Dove
  • Cadmium
  • Lead