We collected 430 harvested ducks (Anas sp. and Aythya sp.) from nine prefectures in Japan between 1994 and 1997. Fifteen (4%) of 363 birds harvested during and after hunting seasons had one lead pellet each in the proventriculus and gizzard. In addition, 32 (34%) of 93 swans (Cygnus sp.) and two of 14 geese (Anser sp.) found dead from various wetlands had lesions consistent with lead poisoning. One to nine swans suspected of having toxicosis from ingestion of lead shot were found dead each year. Twenty-seven (84%) of the 32 lead-exposured swans were found in Hokkaido Prefecture. We concluded that lead poisoning is still a serious threat to waterfowl in Japan and that there is considerable need for environmental improvement concerning this problem.
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Vol. 35 • No. 4