Journal of Ecology and The Natural Environment
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Article Number - 978D52D63484


Vol.9(3), pp. 30-44 , March 2017
DOI: 10.5897/JENE2017.0628
ISSN: 2006-9847



Full Length Research Paper

Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and water bird distribution in rift valley lakes, Kenya



Barasa Mercy*
  • Barasa Mercy*
  • Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
James Mbaria
  • James Mbaria
  • Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Gerald Muchemi
  • Gerald Muchemi
  • Department of Public Health, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Francis Gakuya
  • Francis Gakuya
  • Department of Veterinary and Capture Services, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Edward Kariuki
  • Edward Kariuki
  • Department of Veterinary and Capture Services, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar
Wanyoike Wamiti
  • Wanyoike Wamiti
  • Zoology Department, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 20 January 2017  Accepted: 13 February 2017  Published: 31 March 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


The study was carried out in six Kenyan rift valley lakes, Nakuru, Magadi, Oloiden, Crater (Sonachi), Bogoria and Elementaita with the aim  to determine the levels of heavy metals and other metal elements (Co, Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr, Cd, Pb, Ni, Hg and As) in water and sediment samples as well as assess its association with water bird distribution. High levels of Pb (42 ppm) above the Pb benchmark levels (36 ppm) as per EPA (2007) benchmarks were detected in Lake Oloiden sediments. Lakes Bogoria and Elementaita had high levels of Mn (3676.7 ± 6652.3 and 747.55 ± 510.95, respectively), also above the Mn benchmark levels (631 ppm), according to EPA (2007). The mean sediment concentrations for Zn, Pb, Ni, As and Hg varied significantly (P<0.05) among the six lakes. Apart from Zn, all other metals (Pb, Co, Mn, Cr, Cd, Fe and Cu) varied significantly in all water samples from the six selected lakes (P<0.05). A total of 15 water bird families were identified across the six lakes. The distribution of the families for lakes Nakuru, Magadi, Elementaita, Oloiden, Bogoria and Crater were 11, 9, 9, 7, 6 and 4, respectively. There was no association between metal elements concentration and water bird distribution in all the selected six lakes (P>0.05). It was concluded that metals concentration in Kenyan Rift Valley lakes has no significant influence on the distribution of water birds. High Mn levels in lakes Bogoria and Elementaita, and Pb in Oloiden may cause toxic effects to the aquatic life and humans as a result of bioaccumulation.

Key words: Ecotoxicology, heavy metals, water birds.

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APA Barasa M., Mbaria, J., Muchemi, G., Gakuya, F., Kariuki, E., & Wamiti, W. (2017). Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and water bird distribution in rift valley lakes, Kenya. Journal of Ecology and The Natural Environment, 9(3), 30-44.
Chicago Barasa Mercy, James Mbaria, Gerald Muchemi, Francis Gakuya, Edward Kariuki and Wanyoike Wamiti. "Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and water bird distribution in rift valley lakes, Kenya." Journal of Ecology and The Natural Environment 9, no. 3 (2017): 30-44.
MLA Barasa Mercy, et al. "Ecological risk assessment of heavy metals and water bird distribution in rift valley lakes, Kenya." Journal of Ecology and The Natural Environment 9.3 (2017): 30-44.
   
DOI 10.5897/JENE2017.0628
URL http://academicjournals.org/journal/JENE/article-abstract/978D52D63484

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