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Feather lead concentrations and207Pb/206Pb ratios reveal lead exposure history of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)

Environmental Science and Technology

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1021/es903176w

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Abstract

Lead poisoning is a primary factor impeding the survival and recovery of the critically endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). However, the frequency and magnitude of lead exposure in condors is not well-known in part because most blood lead monitoring occurs biannually, and biannual blood samples capture only ???10% of a bird's annual exposure history. We investigated the use of growing feathers from free-flying condors in California to establish a bird's lead exposure history. We show that lead concentration and stable lead isotopic composition analyses of sequential feather sections and concurrently collected blood samples provided a comprehensive history of lead exposure over the 2-4 month period of feather growth. Feather analyses identified exposure events not evident from blood monitoring efforts, and by fitting an empirically derived timeline to actively growing feathers, we were able to estimate the time frame for specific lead exposure events. Our results demonstrate the utility of using sequentially sampled feathers to reconstruct lead exposure history. Since exposure risk in individuals is one determinant ?? 2010 American Chemical Society.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Feather lead concentrations and207Pb/206Pb ratios reveal lead exposure history of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)
Series title:
Environmental Science and Technology
DOI:
10.1021/es903176w
Volume
44
Issue:
7
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
2639
Last page:
2647
Number of Pages:
9