Petar Stamberov, Chavdar Zhelev, Toni Todorov, Sofiya Ivanova, Tandzhu Mehmedov, Iliyan Manev and Ella Taneva
The paper presents the level of lead in the liver, gizzard, breast muscles and humerus of game birds, shot during the hunting season of 2016 - 2017 in Bulgaria. In quail gizzards (n=10) radiographic examination showed ingested pellets. In turtle doves (n=10), lead levels in the liver had higher values of 2,501 ± 1,404 mg/kg, compared to the maximum levels of <2 mg/kg. The content of lead in the humerus of partridges (n=10) showed a very high concentrations of 54,241 ± 36,731 mg/kg compared to the base level of 10<20 mg/kg. The high levels of lead in the tissues of the game birds, induced by lead shot exposure, are a significant risk to predators and scavengers.