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Title

Lead poisoning in waterbirds: Do limitations in the perception of risk reduce the compliance of Pb shot ban?

AuthorsMateo, Rafael ; Vallverdú-Coll, Núria ; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E.
Issue Date2013
Citation37th Annual Meeting of the Waterbird Society (2013)
AbstractLead (Pb) has been an excellent material for hunting ammunition due to its high density and softness. Unfortunately, it is one of the most toxic heavy metals and spreading it in the environment makes hunting an unsustainable practice. The accumulation of spent Pb shot pellets is especially of concern in wetlands where waterbirds have been intensively hunted. High prevalence of Pb shot ingestion in waterbirds has been detected around the world and, in consequence, an increasing number of countries have adopted regulations to reduce the use of Pb shot in wetlands. However, the compliance of the ban of Pb shot differs among countries and it seems to be lower in Europe than in North America. In the Ebro delta (NE Spain), the prevalence of Pb shot ingestion in hunted waterfowl in the 1990s was as high as 30% in Mallard Anas platyrhynchos and 69% in Common Pochard Aythya ferina. Ten years after the implementation of the ban of Pb shot use over protected wetlands in Spain in 2001, these rates of Pb shot ingestion have declined to 15% and 35%, respectively. Ban compliance by 2008 in protected lagoons of the Ebro delta was high, with ≤2% of hunted birds with only embedded Pb shot. However, this ban was not implemented at feeding sites in rice fields, where the ducks are still shot with Pb during full moon nights. Game meat Pb levels in waterfowl that had ingested Pb shot and/or birds killed with Pb ammunition in the Ebro delta were above maximum residue levels according to EU regulation. Therefore, more strict compliance on the use of Pb shot and an enforcement of the ban compliance can reduce game meat Pb levels by both the decrease in Pb shot ingestion rates and Pb embedded ammunition in birds. Despite the extensive research performed on lead poisoning, further studies on sublethal and population effects in birds and game meat consumers may be needed to increase the perception of Pb-related risk among hunters to favour Pb shot ban compliance.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado al 37th annual meeting of the Waterbird Society and the annual conference of the International Wader Study Group, celebrado en Wilhelmshaven (Alemania) del 24 al 30 de septiembre de 2013.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/146727
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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