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Metal concentrations in the liver and kidney of raptor species from the Calabria region, Italy

Author(s): Zaccaroni Annalisa | Andreani Giulia | Ferrante M.C. | Carpenè E. | Isani Gloria | Lucisano A.

Journal: Acta Veterinaria
ISSN 0567-8315

Volume: 58;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 315;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: heavy metals | avian species | environmental monitoring | Italy

We have focused our study on the concentrations of non essential trace metals Pb, Cd and Cr and essential heavy metals Zn and Cu, in the liver and kidney of raptor species from different areas of the Calabria region in Italy, with the aim of obtaining information concerning the quality and the contamination level of their habitat. No significant differences related to sampling areas and gender were found, while significant differences were found in metal concentrations among species. Mean Cd concentrations in the kidneys were generally 1.5-10 fold higher than hepatic ones, while Pb was mostly concentrated in the liver; a different pattern in tissue Cr concentration was observed between species. Referring to essential metals, Cu levels were higher in the liver, whereas higher Zn concentrations were constantly present in the kidneys. The ratio between kidney and liver metal concentrations (K:Ls) was also evaluated. The measured concentrations in toxic elements can be considered as indicative of chronic exposure to low amounts of pollutants. The essential metal concentrations were in the range of physiological values and did not show the presence of any deficiency or excess of metal. The present study can be considered as a starting point in the study of a possible correlation between levels of pollutants and the appearance of any adverse effects in raptor species in the Calabria area.
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