Influence of snowfall on blood lead levels of free-flying bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the upper Mississippi river valley

Ronald A. Lindblom, Letitia M. Reichart, Brett A. Mandernack, Matthew Solensky, Casey W. Schoenebeck, Patrick T. Redig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lead poisoning of scavenging raptors occurs primarily via consumption of game animal carcasses containing lead, which peaks during fall firearm hunting seasons. We hypothesized that snowfall would mitigate exposure by concealing carcasses. We categorized blood lead level (BLL) for a subsample of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Upper Mississippi River Valley and described BLL with respect to age, sex, and snowfall. We captured Bald Eagles overwintering in the Upper Mississippi River Valley (n=55) between December 1999 and January 2002. Individual BLL ranged from nondetectable to 335 μg/dL, with 73% of the samples testing positive for acute exposure to lead. Eagle BLL did not significantly differ between age or sex, but levels were higher immediately following the hunting season, and they were lower when the previous month’s snowfall was greater than 11 cm. This study suggests a window of time between the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) hunting season and the onset of snow when the population experienced peak exposure to lead. Combining these findings with existing research, we offer a narrative of the annual lead exposure cycle of Upper Mississippi River Valley Bald Eagles. These temporal associations are necessary considerations for accurate collection and interpretation of BLL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-823
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of wildlife diseases
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Fingerprint

Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Mississippi River
snow
flight
valleys
blood
valley
river
hunting
Odocoileus virginianus
game animals
lead poisoning
acute exposure
gender
eagles
raptor
birds of prey
overwintering
poisoning
deer

Keywords

  • Ammunition
  • Bald eagle
  • Blood
  • Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Hunting
  • Lead
  • Mississippi river
  • Snowfall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Influence of snowfall on blood lead levels of free-flying bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the upper Mississippi river valley. / Lindblom, Ronald A.; Reichart, Letitia M.; Mandernack, Brett A.; Solensky, Matthew; Schoenebeck, Casey W.; Redig, Patrick T.

In: Journal of wildlife diseases, Vol. 53, No. 4, 10.2017, p. 816-823.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lindblom, Ronald A. ; Reichart, Letitia M. ; Mandernack, Brett A. ; Solensky, Matthew ; Schoenebeck, Casey W. ; Redig, Patrick T. / Influence of snowfall on blood lead levels of free-flying bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the upper Mississippi river valley. In: Journal of wildlife diseases. 2017 ; Vol. 53, No. 4. pp. 816-823.
@article{374df6fa37a546b5992b4cb8617c1464,
title = "Influence of snowfall on blood lead levels of free-flying bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the upper Mississippi river valley",
abstract = "Lead poisoning of scavenging raptors occurs primarily via consumption of game animal carcasses containing lead, which peaks during fall firearm hunting seasons. We hypothesized that snowfall would mitigate exposure by concealing carcasses. We categorized blood lead level (BLL) for a subsample of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Upper Mississippi River Valley and described BLL with respect to age, sex, and snowfall. We captured Bald Eagles overwintering in the Upper Mississippi River Valley (n=55) between December 1999 and January 2002. Individual BLL ranged from nondetectable to 335 μg/dL, with 73{\%} of the samples testing positive for acute exposure to lead. Eagle BLL did not significantly differ between age or sex, but levels were higher immediately following the hunting season, and they were lower when the previous month’s snowfall was greater than 11 cm. This study suggests a window of time between the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) hunting season and the onset of snow when the population experienced peak exposure to lead. Combining these findings with existing research, we offer a narrative of the annual lead exposure cycle of Upper Mississippi River Valley Bald Eagles. These temporal associations are necessary considerations for accurate collection and interpretation of BLL.",
keywords = "Ammunition, Bald eagle, Blood, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Hunting, Lead, Mississippi river, Snowfall",
author = "Lindblom, {Ronald A.} and Reichart, {Letitia M.} and Mandernack, {Brett A.} and Matthew Solensky and Schoenebeck, {Casey W.} and Redig, {Patrick T.}",
year = "2017",
month = "10",
doi = "10.7589/2017-02-027",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "53",
pages = "816--823",
journal = "Journal of Wildlife Diseases",
issn = "0090-3558",
publisher = "Wildlife Disease Association, Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Influence of snowfall on blood lead levels of free-flying bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the upper Mississippi river valley

AU - Lindblom, Ronald A.

AU - Reichart, Letitia M.

AU - Mandernack, Brett A.

AU - Solensky, Matthew

AU - Schoenebeck, Casey W.

AU - Redig, Patrick T.

PY - 2017/10

Y1 - 2017/10

N2 - Lead poisoning of scavenging raptors occurs primarily via consumption of game animal carcasses containing lead, which peaks during fall firearm hunting seasons. We hypothesized that snowfall would mitigate exposure by concealing carcasses. We categorized blood lead level (BLL) for a subsample of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Upper Mississippi River Valley and described BLL with respect to age, sex, and snowfall. We captured Bald Eagles overwintering in the Upper Mississippi River Valley (n=55) between December 1999 and January 2002. Individual BLL ranged from nondetectable to 335 μg/dL, with 73% of the samples testing positive for acute exposure to lead. Eagle BLL did not significantly differ between age or sex, but levels were higher immediately following the hunting season, and they were lower when the previous month’s snowfall was greater than 11 cm. This study suggests a window of time between the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) hunting season and the onset of snow when the population experienced peak exposure to lead. Combining these findings with existing research, we offer a narrative of the annual lead exposure cycle of Upper Mississippi River Valley Bald Eagles. These temporal associations are necessary considerations for accurate collection and interpretation of BLL.

AB - Lead poisoning of scavenging raptors occurs primarily via consumption of game animal carcasses containing lead, which peaks during fall firearm hunting seasons. We hypothesized that snowfall would mitigate exposure by concealing carcasses. We categorized blood lead level (BLL) for a subsample of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Upper Mississippi River Valley and described BLL with respect to age, sex, and snowfall. We captured Bald Eagles overwintering in the Upper Mississippi River Valley (n=55) between December 1999 and January 2002. Individual BLL ranged from nondetectable to 335 μg/dL, with 73% of the samples testing positive for acute exposure to lead. Eagle BLL did not significantly differ between age or sex, but levels were higher immediately following the hunting season, and they were lower when the previous month’s snowfall was greater than 11 cm. This study suggests a window of time between the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) hunting season and the onset of snow when the population experienced peak exposure to lead. Combining these findings with existing research, we offer a narrative of the annual lead exposure cycle of Upper Mississippi River Valley Bald Eagles. These temporal associations are necessary considerations for accurate collection and interpretation of BLL.

KW - Ammunition

KW - Bald eagle

KW - Blood

KW - Haliaeetus leucocephalus

KW - Hunting

KW - Lead

KW - Mississippi river

KW - Snowfall

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85030976967&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85030976967&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.7589/2017-02-027

DO - 10.7589/2017-02-027

M3 - Article

C2 - 28753412

AN - SCOPUS:85030976967

VL - 53

SP - 816

EP - 823

JO - Journal of Wildlife Diseases

JF - Journal of Wildlife Diseases

SN - 0090-3558

IS - 4

ER -