Accumulation of Heavy Metals in Feral Pigeons Living Near a Ferronickel Smelter
Albana Plakiqi Milaimi1, Qerim Selimi1, Kasum Letaj1, Artan Trebicka2, Astrit Milaimi3
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1Department of Biology, University of Prishtina, P.O. Box 10.000 Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo
2Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Tirana, Republic of Albania
3HazizTola Primary and Lower Secondary School, Prizren, Republic of Kosovo
Submission date: 2016-03-10
Final revision date: 2016-05-29
Acceptance date: 2016-05-29
Publication date: 2016-11-24
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2016;25(6):2695–2699
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a ferronickel smelter in Drenas, Kosovo, in concentrations of lead, cadmium, zinc, copper, and nickel in tissues of liver, kidney, testes, femur, and tibia of feral pigeons (Columba livia). For this purpose, we took 20 birds (nine male and 11 female) from the ferronickel smelter courtyard, and 20 (11 male and 9 female) from Lubizhdë village (control group) to assess the accumulation of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Ni) in soft tissues (liver, kidney, and testes) and solid tissues (femur and tibia). We found that lead (Pb) concentrations in the liver, kidney, femur, and tibia increased in the Drenas group (P = 0.160, P = 0.176, P<0.001, P<0.001), whereas lead concentration decreased in the testes compared to the control group (P = 0.030). Cadmium (Cd) concentrations in the liver and kidney increased (P = 0.460, P<0.001), whereas in other tissues it is not found. Zinc (Zn) concentrations in the liver, kidney, and tibia tissues increased (P = 0.050, P = 0.094, P = 0.258), whereas in the testes and femur it decreased (P<0.001, P = 0.556). Copper (Cu) concentrations increased in the liver, kidney, testes, and tibia tissues (P<0.001, P<0.001, P<0.001, P = 0.007), but decreased in the femur tissue (P = 0.456) compared to the control group. Nickel (Ni) concentrations increased in all examined tissues (P<0.001, P = 0.010, P = 0.292, P = 0.312, P = 0.102) of feral pigeons (Columba livia) from the smelter courtyard. The highest concentration of Ni was recorded in the liver (139.97 μg/mg d.w.).