Lead poisoning in the globally threatened marbled teal and white‐headed duck in Spain

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



Marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) and white‐headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) are the two European ducks threatened with global extinction. We investigated lead (Pb) poisoning in stifftails (Oxyura spp., n = 83) and marbled teal (n = 80) shot or found dead or moribund in Spanish wetlands via gizzard examination and liver, bone, and blood Pb analysis. Ingested Pb shot was present in 32% of shot stifftails and 70 and 43% of dead or moribund stifftails and marbled teal, respectively. Lead‐shot ingestion was more frequent in Valencia (eastern Spain), where Pb‐shot densities were higher and grit scarcer. Selection of larger grit similar in size to Pb shot may explain the higher rate of Pb‐shot ingestion observed in stifftails. Ingested shot was found more frequently in juvenile stifftails than in adults. Lead bone concentrations were higher in ducklings <9 d old than in fully grown teal and were also higher in adult than in juvenile teal. Our results show the need for a ban of Pb shot for waterfowl hunting in Spain and the cleanup of spent shot at major wetlands.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lead poisoning in the globally threatened marbled teal and white‐headed duck in Spain
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.5620201228
Volume 20
Issue 12
Year Published 2001
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description 9 p.
First page 2860
Last page 2868
Country Spain
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