Liver Lead Levels in Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) in a Wetland near the City of Durango, Mexico


The use of lead in ammunition for hunting exposes waterfowl to lead poisoning (plumbism) by accidental consumption of shotgun pellets. To test this hypothesis we sampled 18 liver tissue samples of Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) collected during the 2012-2013 hunting season in a wetland near the city of Durango, Mexico. We quantified liver lead levels using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer and portions of liver were fixed and stained for their histological study. Average lead concentration (in dry weight) were under the normal range (mean = 0.73 ± 0.2, standard error) which do not represent any risk of poisoning. Liver tissue injuries were not observed in the histopathological analysis, suggesting no reaction to a xenobiotic agent such as lead. Gastrointestinal content analysis showed lead pellet in the gizzard of one individual, but we could not find a relationship between pellet ingestion and lead concentration in the liver. Although the results did not provide evidences of lethal or sublethal effects caused by lead poisoning, they show a possible risk due to the presence of lead pellets in the digestive tract.

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Pereda-Solís, M. , González, A. , Guerrero, J. , Anguiano, L. and Alférez, F. (2015) Liver Lead Levels in Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) in a Wetland near the City of Durango, Mexico. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 5, 30-35. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2015.51004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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