Anthropogenic lead in Amazonian wildlife

Mar Cartró-Sabaté, Pedro Mayor, Martí Orta-Martínez*, Antoni Rosell-Melé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Lead levels and isotopic fingerprints in 315 free-ranging animals belonging to 18 wild game species in four remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon provide a comprehensive picture of anthropogenic lead pollution in tropical rainforests. The high average concentration of lead (0.49 mg kg−1 wet weight) in livers from Amazonian wild game is comparable to the levels of lead in industrialized countries and mining areas. Although hunting ammunition is probably the main source of lead in wildlife, oil-related pollution is also a major source of contaminant lead in areas in which oil is extracted. Owing to the extended use of lead shot in subsistence hunting worldwide and the ever-encroaching oil-extraction industry in tropical rainforests, these results uncover important health risks to tropical wildlife and local communities that rely on subsistence hunting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)702-709
Number of pages8
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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