Monitoring technique for heavy metal assessment in different regions of Punjab using feathers of feral pigeons (Columba livia).
Heavy metals are one of the major environmental issues due to large number of sources and diligence. The amount of heavy metals in washed and unwashed feathers of feral pigeon were investigated in this study. The feathers were collected from five distant locations: Agronomy Farm Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Jalandhar FCI (with low traffic volume and anthropogenic activities) and Cold Storage Jalandhar Bypass, Cold Storage Mullanpur, Hoshiarpur FCI (with high traffic volume and anthropogenic activities). Results revealed that metals such as Pb, Cd and Cr were deposited in feathers originating from air or soil. As was absorbed through pigeon's diet. The order of metal concentration was Jalandhar Bypass Hoshiarpur FCI Cold Storage Mullanpur Jallandhar FCI Agronomy Farm Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana which shows highest concentration due to high traffic and anthropogenic activities. Significant differences between As, Cd, Pb and Cr in washed and unwashed feathers recommend that concentrations of metals are directly related to exposure time. It is concluded that feathers of urban pigeons can be used to estimate heavy metals present in the atmosphere.