Lead Concentrations In Mourning Doves Collected From Middle Atlantic Game Management Areas.

Bone and liver lead concentrations (J..lg! gm, d.w.) were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry for 412 hunter-killed mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) collected from 6 Atlantic flyway game management areas located in Maryland. Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, 1977 and 1978 seasons. Juvenile bone lead concentrations ranged from 1.25-763.65 J..lg! gm while adults showed levels from 1.02-322.81 J..lg! gm. Significant effects in location of collection (P<0.005) and age (P<0.005) were determined, where adults had higher bone lead concentrations than juveniles. Some juvenile birds had extremely high bone lead concentrations not found in adults. Adult liver lead concentrations ranged from 0.00-74.61 J..lg! gm and from 0.0076.45 J..lg! gm in juveniles. In the 1978 season, liver concentrations were significantly (P<0.025) higher in the early dove season, perhaps from increased lead shot exposure. Neither bone nor liver analyses indicated a differential lead exposure pattern due to sex. Gizzard and crop examination of the 412 birds indicated II lead shot in 10 individual doves (2.4%). However, liver analyses indicated that 21 of 412 doves (5.1%) contained elevated lead concentrations that possibly resulted from lead shot exposure. For the combined years, 1977 and 1978, analyses indicated 45 of 412 (10.9%) doves to have bone lead levels> 100.00 J..lg! gm, indicating an elevated pattern of lead exposure in this species.

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