Lead poisoning was diagnosed in four spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri) and one common eider (Somateria mollissima) found dead or moribund at the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (USA) in 1992, 1993, and 1994. Ingested lead shot was found in the lower esophagus of one spectacled eider and in the gizzard of the common eider. Lead concentrations in the livers of the spectacled eiders were 26 to 38 ppm wet weight, and 52 ppm wet weight in the liver of the common eider. A blood sample collected from one of the spectacled eiders before it was euthanized had a lead concentration of 8.5 ppm wet weight. This is the first known report of lead poisoning in the spectacled eider, recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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