Biomonitoring of heavy metals in the feathers of House crow (Corvus splendens) from some metropolitans of Asia and Africa

Farheena Iqbal, Robyn Wilson, Qasim Ayub, Beng Kah Song, Urszula Krzeminska-Ahmedzai, Amin Talei, Andreas Aditya Hermawan, Sadequr Rahman

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Urban-dwelling birds can be useful biomonitors to assess the impact of the urbanisation on both public and wildlife health. Widely distributed urban bird species, the House crow, was studied for heavy metal accumulation levels from nine cities of South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa that border the Indian Ocean. Feathers were spectroscopically investigated for the deposition of ten heavy metals, i.e. As, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni, iron Fe, Mn, Cr, Cu and Li. Fe and Zn were found to be the most prevalent metals in all sites. Measured concentrations of Pb (4.38–14.77 mg kg−1) overall, and Fe (935.66 mg kg−1) and Cu (67.17 mg kg−1) at some studied sites were above the toxicity levels reported lethal in avian toxicological studies. Multivariate analysis and linear models supported geographical location as a significant predictor for the level of most of the metals. Zn and Cu, generally and Pb, Cd, Mn, Cr at some sites exhibited potential bioaccumulation from surrounding environments. Inter-species comparisons strengthen the inference that the House crow is a reliable bioindicator species for the qualitative assessment of local urban environmental pollution and could be a useful tool for inter-regional monitoring programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35715–35726
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Anthropogenic
  • Bioindicator
  • Heavy metal pollution
  • House crow
  • Urban

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