Mercury contamination, a potential threat to the globally endangered aquatic warbler Acrocephalus paludicola

Aneta Dorota Pacyna , Carlos Zumalacárregui Martínez , David Miguélez , Frédéric Jiguet , Żaneta Polkowska , Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas


Mercury (Hg) contamination is considered a global concern for humans and wildlife, and although the number of studies dealing with that issue continues to increase, some taxonomic groups such as small passerine birds are largely understudied. In this paper, concentration of mercury in the aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) feathers, a globally threatened passerine species, was examined. The concentration differences between two ages and sexes were investigated. The comparison of feathers taken on autumn migrants of two age categories act as a comparison of the species’ exposure within the two different areas (European breeding or African wintering grounds). The average Hg concentration for all sampled individuals [2.32 μg/g dw (range 0.38–12.76)] is relatively high, compared with values found in other passerine species. An age difference was found, with first-year individuals displaying higher mercury concentrations than adults. This indicates that birds are exposed to mercury pollution during the breeding season, i.e., in the continental floodplains of eastern Europe. The average Hg concentration in feathers grown on the breeding grounds was 3.88 ± 2.59 μg/g dw, closer to the critical value of 5 μg/g dw, which is considered to impair the health of individuals. The findings suggest that mercury pollution may constitute a threat so far neglected for the endangered aquatic warbler.
Author Aneta Dorota Pacyna
Aneta Dorota Pacyna,,
, Carlos Zumalacárregui Martínez
Carlos Zumalacárregui Martínez,,
, David Miguélez
David Miguélez,,
, Frédéric Jiguet
Frédéric Jiguet,,
, Żaneta Polkowska
Żaneta Polkowska,,
, Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas (FB / DVEZ)
Katarzyna Wojczulanis-Jakubas,,
- Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology
Journal seriesEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research, ISSN 0944-1344, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishconservation, feathers, passerine, mercury, warbler
Languageen angielski
LicenseOther; published final; Uznanie Autorstwa (CC-BY); with publication
Score (nominal)30
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Ministerial score (2013-2016) = 30.0, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.8 (2) - 2017=2.989 (5)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.