Baseline blood Pb concentrations in black-necked stilts on the upper Texas coast

Thomas V. Riecke, Warren C. Conway, David A. Haukos, Jena A. Moon, Christopher E. Comer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


There are no known biological requirements for lead (Pb), and elevated Pb levels in birds can cause a variety of sub-lethal effects and mortality. Historic and current levels of Pb in mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) suggest that environmental sources of Pb remain available on the upper Texas coast. Because of potential risks of Pb exposure among coexisting marsh birds, black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) blood Pb concentrations were measured during the breeding season. Almost 80 % (n = 120) of 152 sampled stilts exceeded the background threshold (>20 μg/dL) for Pb exposure. However, blood Pb concentrations did not vary by age or gender, and toxic or potentially lethal concentrations were rare (<5 %). Consistent, low-level blood Pb concentrations of black-necked stilts in this study suggest the presence of readily bioavailable sources of Pb, although potential impacts on local stilt populations remain unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-469
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015


  • Black-necked stilt
  • Blood
  • Himantopus mexicanus
  • Lead concentration
  • Lead toxicity
  • Texas coast


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