Concentration of Selected Trace Elements in the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus L., 1758) Population from Serbia
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Golden jackal is considered a top predator in many human dominated landscapes of South-eastern Europe. Concentrations of seven trace elements (Pb, Cd, Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, and Ni) in livers of 129 specimens of golden jackals (Canis aureus) from six localities from Serbia were analysed. Both, sex and localities had no significant effects on concentrations of any metals. Lead concentrations, both average (9.59 mg/kg) and maximal values (23.00 mg/kg), were higher than those found in other mammal predator species. Furthermore, concentrations of essential trace elements (copper, iron and manganese) were also significantly higher than those reported by other researchers. Only zinc had significantly lower concentration (66.36 mg/kg), while cadmium was similar (14.89 mg/kg) with those reported in the literature. The jackal, being a wild omnivorous mammal at the top of the food chain with high adaptability and other supportive ecological features, is a good bioindicator of environmental contamination.