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Feathers of Three Waterfowl Bird Species from Northern Iran for Heavy Metals Biomonitoring

Abstract

Waterbirds are considered the effective sentinels of aquatic ecosystems contamination and their feathers are widely used as non-destructive biological tools for contaminant biomonitoring. In this work, we measure and evaluate the concentrations of lead, copper and zinc in the breast feathers of three species namely Fulica atra, Anas crecca and Anas platyrhynchos in the wetland National Park Boujagh. Levels of lead (Pb), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) were below the threshold that causes sub-lethal and reproductive effects. Significant differences in metal concentrations were found among bird species. The finding indicated that highest Pb and Zn concentrations were observed in common Coot. The effect of sex on heavy metal was observed for Pb in Anas platyrhynchos and while Cu, Zn in Anas crecca. Concentrations of metals were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in resident birds than in migratory. High levels of these heavy metals show that these birds can be used to monitor contamination in the wetland.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge funding provided for this research by the Malayer University of Iran.

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Correspondence to Eisa Solgi.

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Solgi, E., Mirzaei-Rajeouni, E. & Zamani, A. Feathers of Three Waterfowl Bird Species from Northern Iran for Heavy Metals Biomonitoring. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 104, 727–732 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-020-02852-7

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Keywords

  • Boujagh wetland national park
  • Heavy metals
  • Feather
  • Waterfowl birds