DIFFERENCES IN BIOACCUMULATION OF HEAVY METALS AND METALLOIDS BETWEEN BARBS AND CALAMUS OF TAIL FEATHERS OF WHITE BACKED VULTURES (GYPS AFRICANUS)
Keywords:birds, biomonitoring, concentration, differences, environment.
Current study was designed to validate the use of tail feathers as non-invasive
biomonitoring tool and to compare its barb and calamus parts for bioaccumulation of heavy metals viz.
Cd, Cr, Pb, Cu, Hg and As in white backed vulture (Gyps africanus). A total of 8 tail feathers samples
collected from eight birds were analyzed. All the studied heavy metals except Hg and As were detected
in tail feathers of G. Africanus. We corroborated the use of tail feathers as non-invasive biomonitoring
tool for all the heavy metals except Hg and As. In general, metals in feathers followed the trend as
Pb>Cd>Cr>Cu. Concentrations of trace metals were higher in barbs than calamus reflecting possible
external deposition. Comparison of heavy metals revealed non-significant (P> 0.05) differences
between barbs and calamus parts. We concluded that barbs of feathers are promising biomonitoring
tool for metals contamination.
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