Lead and arsenic in bones of birds of prey from Spain

R. Mateo, Mark Antony Taggart, Andrew Alexander Meharg

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76 Citations (Scopus)


The bones (humerus and/or femur) of 229 birds of prey from 11 species were analyzed for Ph and As to evaluate their exposure to Ph shot. The species with the highest mean Ph levels were red kite (Milvus milvus) and Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus), and the species with the lowest levels were Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo) and booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennants). Red kite also had the highest mean As level, an element present in small amounts in Ph shot. Elevated bone Ph concentrations (>10 mug/g dry weight) were found in 10 birds from six species. Clinical signs compatible with lethal Ph poisoning and/or excessive bone Pb concentrations (>20 mug/g) were observed in one Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), one red kite, and one Eurasian griffon. Pb poisoning has been diagnosed in eight upland raptor species in Spain to date. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jun 2003
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003


  • lead poisoning
  • Falconiformes
  • Strigiformes
  • hunting
  • arsenic
  • harriers circus-aeruginosus
  • kestrels falco-sparverius
  • chronic dietary lead
  • shot ingestion
  • Southeastern Spain
  • Charente-maritime
  • Eastern Canada
  • spent shot
  • exposure
  • France


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