Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Non-invasive biomonitoring of organic pollutants using feather samples in feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica).

Abstract

A large portion of organic pollutants (OPs) represent a potential hazard to humans and living beings due to their toxic properties. For several years, birds have been used as biomonitor species of environmental pollution. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organophosphate pesticides (OPPs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and pyrethroids (PYRs) were assessed in body feather samples of 71 feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica) collected from Asturias and Galicia (NW Spain). The percentage of detection for all chemical groups were above 90% in studied birds. The general pattern was dominated by PAHs (mean value ± standard deviation (SD) 32 ± 15 ng/g) followed by OCPs (3.8 ± 1.1 ng/g), PYRs (3.4 ± 3.8 ng/g), PCBs (1.6 ± 1.0 ng/g), OPPs (1.3 ± 0.70 ng/g) and PBDEs (0.80 ± 0.30 ng/g). Significant differences were observed between age, location and gender suggesting different sources of exposure and accumulation pathways.