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Mercury in Pelecanus occidentalis of the Cispata bay, Colombia

Mercury in Pelecanus occidentalis of the Cispata bay, Colombia

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Burgos N, S., Marrugo N, J., Navarro F, A., & Urango C, I. (2014). Mercury in Pelecanus occidentalis of the Cispata bay, Colombia. Revista MVZ Córdoba, 19(2), 4168-4174.

Saudith Burgos N
José Marrugo N
Amado Navarro F
Ivan Urango C


Objective. Assessment the total concentration of mercury in the liver and feathers of Pelecanus occidentalis of the Cispata bay, Colombia. Materials and methods. Mercury concentrations in liver and feather of Pelecanus occidentalis residents in the Cispata bay – Colombia were evaluated by digestion with an acidic mixture of H2SO4–HNO3 and KMnO4 to eliminate organic matter. The concentration of mercury was determined by the Atomic Absorption - Cold Vapor method (CVAAS). Results. Total mercury levels found in this study were higher in feathers (0.31-9.17 mgHg/kg) than in the liver (0.63–6.29 mgHg/kg), being higher than those reported in other seabirds studies. Conclusions. The high levels of total mercury in feathers and liver can be explained by the feeding habits of the organisms under study, showing the utility of feathers as a potential non-invasive tool for the monitoring of the ecosystem and thereby preventing the sacrifice of specimens

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