Lead and cadmium levels in liver of seabirds affected by the "Prestige" accident in Galicia (NW Spain)

Authors: María Esperanza GALLEGO RODRÍGUEZ, David HERNÁNDEZ MORENO, Luis Eusebio FIDALGO ÁLVAREZ, Lucas RIGUEIRO, Ana López BECEIRO, Francisco SOLER Rodríguez and Marcos Pérez López

E-mail: marcospl@unex.es

Published: Volume 54(1), June 2007. Pages 41-51.

Language: English

Keywords: Seabird, cadmium, liver, metal, lead and Prestige


Aims: Seabirds are important bioindicator species for contamination assessment in marine environments because they are situated as top consumers in marine foodchains. At the present work, two heavy metal (lead and cadmium) contents in liver of two different seabird species (shag and gannet) affected by the "Prestige" oil spill in November 2002 have been analyzed, by using collected animals which died along the Galician coast.

Methods: The results were compared to those obtained when analyzing other animals of the same species, which were from the same area but not affected by the oil spill, in order to determine whether the "Prestige" accident resulted in an increasing of the environmental levels of the considered metals.

Results and Conclusions: In general, levels of those two analyzed elements were low, in both analyzed species; representing comparable levels to those quantified for the same seabird species in other geographical areas, and did not exceed levels indicative of increased environmental exposure to such inorganic pollutants.

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