Anthropogenic lead (Pb) exposure in populations of a wild parrot (kea Nestor notabilis)

Kea (Nestor notabilis), large parrots endemic to hill country areas of the South Island, New Zealand, are subject to anthropogenic lead (Pb) exposure in their environment. Between April 2006 and June 2009 kea were captured in various parts of their range and samples of their blood were taken for blood lead analysis. All kea (n = 88) had been exposed to lead, with a range in blood lead concentrations of 0.014 – 16.55 ìmol L–1 (mean ± SE, 1.11 – 0.220 ìmol L–1). A retrospective analysis of necropsy reports from 30 kea was also carried out.