SPORT HUNTING AND THE LEAD EFFECT ON BIRDS FROM SOUTHERN BRAZIL
Keywords:Aves campestres, Chumbo, Cinegética, Contaminação, Rio Grande do Sul
Lead (Pb) is recognized as a toxic metal to organisms when present for a long time and also when it is found in high levels in the environment. The contamination, verified through clinical and laboratorial data, results in adverse and severe physiological effects and, in extreme cases, death. The main build-up sources of Pb are located in highly urban areas due to automotive and industrial activities. The metal is used as hunting ammunition, mainly in developing countries and it is a known contamination source for birds and environments. The objective is to review information sources on sport hunting with the use of Pb based ammunition since the nineteenth century. I analyze the matter of sport hunting in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, which is one of the most important areas of hunting activity in Brazil. I verified that the studies on Pb contamination on birds so far are mainly focused on waterbirds and that there have been few records on terrestrial birds. The majority of studies focusing on Pb contamination through its use in ammunition have been done on developed countries such as USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Spain, where sport hunting with Pb ammunition has over 100 years of use. In those countries, Pb ammunition has been banned or replaced by other materials. In southern Brazil, researches on this issue are scarce, which reinforces the need of detailed studies in order to obtain more precise and substantial data necessary on decision-taking.