Birds as bioindicators of environmental contamination; data collected on the Jay

  • Carla Cerrato | cermas@izsto.it Ce.R.M.A.S (Centro di Referenza Nazionale per le Malattie degli Animali Selvatici), Quart (AO), Italy.
  • Riccardo Orusa Ce.R.M.A.S (Centro di Referenza Nazionale per le Malattie degli Animali Selvatici), Quart (AO), Italy.
  • Maria Cesarina Abete Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale di Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’Aosta, Italy.
  • Serena Robetto Ce.R.M.A.S (Centro di Referenza Nazionale per le Malattie degli Animali Selvatici), Quart (AO), Italy.
  • Renata Tarasco Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale di Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d’Aosta, Italy.

Abstract

This study has compared the concentrations of cadmium, chromium and lead, found in the liver and in the feathers of 175 specimens of Jay, Garrulus glandarius, in order to test the suitability of the “alternative” sample, also available in a live bird, for the evaluation of environmental contamination by heavy metals. The method used for the analysis is atomic absorption spectrometry with electrothermal atomization after tissues mineralization. The results obtained showed the absence of a clear correspondence of values in different types of samples, although the feathers have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to retain heavy metals after being subjected to freezing for months. The time and manner in which the absorption of contaminants is “captured” by feathers are not well known and influenced by multiple factors: the examination of live specimens would better define this important step. High surface concentrations of heavy metals are not necessarily a full-blown state of intoxication of the organism, but suggest the need for vigilant monitoring of local environmental conditions.

Dimensions

Altmetric

PlumX Metrics

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Published
2012-09-30
Info
Issue
Section
Short Communications
Statistics
  • Abstract views: 396

  • PDF: 271
How to Cite
Cerrato, C., Orusa, R., Abete, M. C., Robetto, S., & Tarasco, R. (2012). Birds as bioindicators of environmental contamination; data collected on the Jay. Rivista Italiana Di Ornitologia, 82(1-2). https://doi.org/10.4081/rio.2012.148