The aim of the study was to determine the level of heavy metals (cadmium and lead) in pheasants tissues (Phasianus colchicus L.) and their impact on other essential metals metabolism. The samples of liver, kidneys, testes, breast muscle, heart and feet were collected from pheasants (n=6) shot in the area of Rzeszow and analyzed using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) method. The accumulation of both toxic metals was observed mainly in kidney (P<0.05), followed in liver. Specific distribution of lead in birds feet was observed. Traces of heavy metals were found in heart and breast muscle, whereas high level of lead and cadmium in testes were determined. The concentration of microelements (zinc, manganese and calcium) in the examined organs did not exceed physiological levels reported in the literature for other animals. However, certain significant correlations between toxic and essential metals were observed in examined tissues.
ring-necked pheasant, bioindicator, heavy metals, accumulation, AAS method