The Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) is found only in the Iberian Peninsula and is considered one of the most threatened birds of prey in Europe. Here we analyze lead concentrations in bones (n = 84), livers (n = 15), primary feathers (n = 69), secondary feathers (n = 71) and blood feathers (n = 14) of 85 individuals collected between 1997 and 2008 in central Spain. Three birds (3.6%) had bone lead concentration > 20 (mu or u)g/g and all livers were within background lead concentration. Bone lead concentrations increased with the age of the birds and were correlated with lead concentration in rachis of secondary feathers. Spatial aggregation of elevated bone lead concentration was found in some areas of Montes de Toledo. Lead concentrations in feathers were positively associated with the density of large game animals in the area where birds were found dead or injured. Discontinuous lead exposure in eagles was evidenced by differences in lead concentration in longitudinal portions of the rachis of feathers.
|Title||Assessment of lead exposure in Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) from spent ammunition in central Spain|
|Authors||Julia Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Ursula Hofle, Rafael Mateo, Olga Nicolas de Francisco, Rachel Abbott, Pelayo Acevedo, Juan-Manuel Blanco|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||National Wildlife Health Center; Contaminant Biology Program|