Lead poisoning, associated with ingestion of spent lead shot, was diagnosed in an adult female Pacific loon (Gavia pacifica) observed with partial paralysis on 13 June 2002 and found dead on 16 June 2002 on Kigigak Island, Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, western Alaska, USA. A necropsy revealed three pellets of ingested lead shot in the loon's gizzard and a lead liver concentration of 31 ppm wet weight, which was consistent with metallic lead poisoning. This is the first report of lead poisoning in a Pacific loon and is the only account of lead toxicosis associated with ingestion of lead shot in any loon species breeding in Alaska.
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Vol. 40 • No. 3