Mercury levels in selected tissues of three kingfisher species; Ceryle rudis, Alcedo atthis, and Halcyon smyrnensi, from Shadegan Marshes of Iran
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This study presents concentrations of mercury in tissues (feather, kidney, liver, and muscle) of three kingfisher species from Shadegan Marshes located in the Khuzestan province in the lowlands of southwestern Iran at the head of the Persian Gulf. The order of mercury concentrations in tissues of all the kingfishers such as pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) and white-breasted kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) was as follows: feather > kidney > liver > muscle. No significant difference was detected in mercury tissue levels between species of birds. Liver mercury concentration was positively correlated with kidney mercury levels in all of the three species of kingfishers. Although, the average levels of mercury we observed in these birds were below levels known to be associated with adverse behavioral or reproductive effects, mercury levels in some individual birds exceeded adverse effect level.
KeywordsMercury level Kingfishers Iran Adverse effects
Special thanks are due to Pasha-Zanoosi for statistical support, M. Davodi for field assistance, and M. Zaboli for graphics of this manuscript. This work was funded by Tarbiat Modares University of Iran.
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