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Ecotoxicology. 2008 Jan;17(1):21-8. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Heavy-metal concentrations in three owl species from Korea.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Gyeonggi-do 446-701, Republic of Korea.


This study presents concentrations of heavy metals (iron, zinc, manganese, copper, lead, and cadmium) in livers of three owl species from Korea. Essential trace elements (iron, zinc, manganese, and copper) did not differ among the owl species. We suggest that the essential elements are within the normal range and are maintained by normal homeostatic mechanisms. Lead and cadmium concentrations in Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo) were significantly lower than in Brown Hawk Owls (Nixos scutulata) and Collared Scops Owls (Otus lempiji). Lead and cadmium concentrations in Korean owl species were at background levels; lead concentrations in two Collared Scops Owls were above background concentrations. Lead and cadmium concentrations were similar to concentrations previously reported in owls from other parts of the world. We suggest that lead and cadmium concentrations in Korean owls are below toxic concentrations.

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