Miankaleh and Gomishan International Wetlands are important wintering areas for waterbirds in the Caspian Sea region. Previous studies revealed increased exposure to metals in some species of waterbirds using these wetlands. In this study, we examined concentrations of cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) in kidneys, liver, and pectoral muscle of wintering Gadwall (Anas strepera) and Common Teal (Anas crecca) collected in 2012. In addition, we measured concentrations of these elements in water and sediments from the collection sites. The genders differed in only one element/tissue combination, i.e., concentrations of Fe were greater in the livers of males. Concentrations of elements observed in Gadwall were generally higher than in Common Teal; only renal Cr and muscle Zn did not differ between species. Mean Cd concentrations in Gadwall exceeded background levels, reaching 1.94 μg/g ww in kidneys and 1.09 μg/g ww in liver. Similarly, Pb concentrations in Gadwall were also elevated (4.14 μg/g ww in kidneys, 3.22 μg/g ww in liver). Concentrations of other metals were within ranges commonly found in waterfowl. Concentrations of elements in the environment were elevated above background and comparable with the data obtained for this region by other scientists. However, these levels were deemed to not be great enough to pose an acute health risk to waterfowl. Given increased concentrations of some metals in duck tissues, further inquiry into the source of the exposure is needed for this area.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, medical
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism