Environmental Lead Exposure in Raptors from mainland Australia

A Research Project by Jordan Hampton

There is growing worldwide recognition of the threat posed by toxic lead (Pb)-based ammunition for wildlife and humans. This has led to active research examining impacts on at-risk wildlife species in much of the world. Resultant findings indicate that lead poisoning is a leading mortality cause for some threatened raptor (birds of prey) species.

Less attention has been devoted to this issue in Australia. Recent studies have demonstrated that harmful lead exposure is occurring in Tasmanian species, namely Tasmanian Devils and Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagles. There is an urgent need to apply these approaches to mainland Australia.

Jordan Hampton is a wildlife researcher from the University of Melbourne analysing lead exposure in Australian birds of prey. For this project he requires samples from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, the ACT or Queensland of the following six scavenging species of raptors:

Wedge-tailed Eagle                             Black-breasted Buzzard

Whistling Kite                                      Little Eagle

Black Kite                                            Brown Goshawk

For his project Jordan is soliciting dead birds from a network of museums, wind farms, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centres, veterinary hospitals, and government departments across eastern mainland Australia. Birds found dead, that die in care, or are euthanised by veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators due to disease or injury will be included.

If you have access to dead raptor specimens please contact Jordan:

Jordan Hampton

University of Melbourne

Animal Welfare Science Centre, corner of Flemington Rd and Park Dr, Parkville, Vic 3052

Email: jordan.hampton@unimelb.edu.au

Mobile: 0497 093 754

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