Relative toxicity of lead and five proposed substitute shot types to pen-reared mallards

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 



A 30-day toxicity test was made to determine the relative toxicity of lead, a tin-lead alloy, zinc, nickel, teflon-coated steel, and tin, all in shot form, to pen-reared mallard drakes. All of the 15 ducks dosed with lead died. Twenty-seven percent of 15 dosed with alloy, and 20 percent of 15 dosed with zinc also died. Ten of the remaining zinc-dosed ducks showed signs of distress, including losses of muscular control and body weight. There were no deaths among 15 ducks dosed with nickel, 15 dosed with teflon-coated steel, and 15 dosed with tin. Seventy-three percent of those dosed with nickel shot eliminated all shot before the end of the 30-day period. Acid-fast intranuclear inclusion bodies were present in the kidneys of mallards dosed with commercial lead shot, or with tin-lead alloy shot, but not in the kidneys of birds given nickel, tin, or teflon-coated steel shot. Atypical, pale, acid-fast bodies were found in kidneys of 1 of 15 birds dosed with zinc. An iron-containing pigment, which stained positive with the Prussian blue technique, was present in variable amounts in almost all livers. Zinc-dosed ducks that died or were killed while still showing signs of zinc intoxication had higher iron levels in the liver than ducks that had recovered from zinc intoxication.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Relative toxicity of lead and five proposed substitute shot types to pen-reared mallards
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.2307/3798926
Volume 32
Issue 3
Year Published 1968
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 6 p.
First page 483
Last page 488