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Use of Feathers from Birds that Collided with Vehicles to Monitor Heavy Metal Contamination in Western Khorasan Razavi, Iran


In the present study, lead, zinc and copper concentrations in the feathers of Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), Eurasian magpie (Pica pica), Common buzzard (Buteo buteo), Crested lark (Galerida cristata), Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops), Little owl (Athene noctua), Long-eared owl (Asio otus), Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) and Long-legged buzzard (Buteo rufinus) from Sabzevar and Neghab, Khorasan Razavi of Iran were measured. Almost all of the specimens were obtained from birds that had collided with vehicles or were unable to fly. There were no significant differences in metal concentrations between adult and juvenile, diurnal and nocturnal raptors and species with different diets. Elemental concentrations were lower than toxicity threshold values, so exposure to these elements does not appear to pose a health risk to the studied species. It should be noted that this study was the first study of metals in Galerida cristata, Asio otus and Buteo rufinus.

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The authors thank the staff of the Sabzevar Environment Department for their field assistance. Thanks are given to Professor Ann V. Paterson who improved the draft and added valuable comments to the manuscript.


The authors declare that no funds, grants, or other support were received during the preparation of this manuscript.

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by HM and MHS. The first draft of the manuscript was written by HM and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hassan Malvandi.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests".

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All applicable institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. Permissions were obtained from the Ethical Committee on Animal Research, Hakim Sabzevari University (Approval ID: IR.HSU.REC.1399.009).

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Malvandi, H., Shamabadi, M.H. Use of Feathers from Birds that Collided with Vehicles to Monitor Heavy Metal Contamination in Western Khorasan Razavi, Iran. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol (2022).

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  • Pollution
  • Metals
  • Bird
  • Feather
  • Wildlife