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1 May 2011 Lead Shot Ingestion by Mourning Doves on a Disked Field
Stephanie C. Plautz, Richard S. Halbrook, Donald W. Sparling
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Previous field studies of hunter-harvested mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) have reported the percentage of birds with ingested lead shot as 0.2–6.5%. To reduce the uncertainty concerning the number of doves that ingest shot, we conducted an experiment to test the proportion of mourning doves that ingested lead shot on the bare soil of a disked field (typical of a managed dove field) to simulate more natural feeding conditions. In each of 3 treatment groups of 80 birds, we exposed 35 birds to low-density lead shot (1.5 million shot/ha), and35 birds to high-density lead shot (29.5 million shot/ha), and 10 birds served as controls (no shot). We dosed 5 positive control birds with 2 lead shot each in trials 2 and 3. We scattered lead shot and mixed seed on the loosely packed soil of treatment cages and after 4 days of exposure, 2.9% of doves voluntarily ingested ≥1 lead shot. The proportion of birds that ingested shot when exposed to the high-density shot treatment (4.9%) was not different (P = 0.098) from that of the low-density shot treatment (1.0%). Lead concentrations in liver, kidneys, and blood reached maxima of 94.402 ppm, 346.033 ppm, and 13.883 ppm wet mass, respectively. Differences in delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) activity, packed cell volume, and heterophil:lymphocyte ratio (H:L) were greater posttreatment in doves that had ingested shot than in those that did not. The risk posed to mourning doves from lead shot ingestion can be reduced by banning lead shot on management areas or dove fields or disking fields after hunting season to reduce shot availability.

© 2011 The Wildlife Society.
Stephanie C. Plautz, Richard S. Halbrook, and Donald W. Sparling "Lead Shot Ingestion by Mourning Doves on a Disked Field," Journal of Wildlife Management 75(4), 779-785, (1 May 2011).
Received: 21 January 2010; Accepted: 1 September 2010; Published: 1 May 2011

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delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD)
lead shot
lead toxicity
mourning dove management
Zenaida macroura.
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