The accumulation of mercury was compared in game-farm and wild-strain mallard ducks fed a diet containing 0.5 ppm mercury in the form of methylmercury dicyandiamide. There were no significant differences between the two strains in levels of mercury that accumulated in blood, kidney, liver, breast muscle, brain, eggs, or ducklings. Mercury levels in blood were significantly correlated with levels in other tissues and eggs, as were levels in down feathers of ducklings with levels in carcasses of ducklings. The results indicate that game-farm mallards are probably suitable substitutes for wild mallards in toxicological work, that blood samples can be used to estimate levels of mercury in other tissues of adults, and that down feathers are predictive of mercury levels in duckling carcasses.
Additional publication details
Comparison of game-farm and wild-strain mallard ducks in accumulation of methylmercury