Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2019, 67, 447-452
Published online 2019-04-29

Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes L., as a Bioindicator of Environmental Pollution in the Countryside of Czech Republic

Jana Sedláková1, Petr Řezáč1, Vladimír Fišer2, Josef Hedbávný3

1Department of Morphology, Physiology and Animal Genetics, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Department of Information Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
3Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 1, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Received November 16, 2018
Accepted February 6, 2019

The objective of this study is to determine the accumulation of heavy metals in the tissues of the small intestines of red foxes from 4 different areas of the northern part of the Czech Republic. The red foxes were relocated from countryside and free nature to the neighborhood of big cities in the last two decades, so it could be great indicator of pollution in these four different areas, with the focus on countryside problems with pollution of heavy metals. The heavy metal (Cd, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn, Mn, Ni) concentrations in 27 samples and the relationships between heavy metal concentration in red fox tissue and the location of sample were investigated. The highest concentrations of Pb (0.684–1), Cr (0.162–1), Ni (0.235–1) and Zn (19.76–1) were found in tissues from mountain areas. The highest concentrations of Cd (0.047–1), Cu (1.474–1) and Mn (2.025–1) were measured in tissues from industrial agglomeration around the city Hradec Králové. Pb and Cr concentrations in tissues of red foxes from two areas (environs of the city Krasna Lipa and Hradec Kralove) exceeded the permissible food consumption limits.


The authors wish to thank all gamekeepers and foresters who participated in the collection of foxes’ viscera and their transportation to the research department. Furthermore, the authors thank Prof. RNDr. Jiří Lamka, CSc. of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not‑for‑profit sectors.


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