During November 1992 to March 1993, and November 1993 to February 1994, 106 greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) were collected dead or moribund in the wetlands of El Fondo and Salinas de Santa Pola, eastern Spain. Birds still alive were emaciated and had a bile-stained diarrhea. On necropsy, they had liquid in the upper digestive tract and the walls of their gizzards were stained dark green. Fifty-three (93%) of 57 gizzards examined contained lead shot (range one to 277 shot), and fifty-five (96%) of 57 livers contained levels of lead greater than 5 μg/g dry weight (DW) (median = 192.3 μg/g DW, range <2.5 to 992.2 μg/g DW).
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Vol. 33 • No. 1