Lead And Mercury In Lesser Snow Geese Wintering In Louisiana

Wintering Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens) were analyzed for lead and mercury residues and lead shot ingestion. Lead shot ingestion paralleled assimilation of lead residues. Snow geese collected in rice-growing areas had significantly (P < 0.01) more lead residues than marsh area geese. This was attributed to different soil finnness, feeding habits, and hunting practices in the 2 areas. Recent deposits of lead apparently played a major role in lead shot ingestion because lead residues and shot ingestion were greatest during the hunting season. Mercury residues significantly (P < 0.05) declined over the wintering season.

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