In November 2006, more than 20 Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) were found dead in the Po Delta, NE Italy, because of a severe event of lead shot poisoning. 16 of them were collected and several lead pellets were present in their gizzard cavities. Chemical and histopathological analyses confirmed the suspect of lead shot poisoning. The average of lead concentration in hepatic tissue was 108,41 ppm, a value higher than 8 ppm, the threshold in aquatic birds(*). This case confirms the importance to forbid the lead pellets used in hunting shotgun shells in Italian wetlands. Nevertheless, local regional government never agreed to stop using lead pellets in the protected wetlands, so more cases of dead Flamingos were registered in the same area exactly one year later.
Giuseppe ARCANGELI, Amedeo MANFRIN, Giovanni BINATO, Roberta DE NARDI, Stefano VOLPONI, Marta VASCELLARI, Franco MUTINELLI, Calogero TERREGINO., 2007. [Lead poisoning in wild birds - A research on Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) in the Po river Delta. In Italian with English summary] Avvelenamento da piombo in uccelli selvatici - Indagine su Fenicotteri (Phoenicopoterus roseus) nel Delta del fiume Po. Obiettivi & Documenti Veterinari, 9:39-45.