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Lead poisoning kills condors, bald eagles; poisons grizzlies

By Gary Bogue
Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 6:04 am in California condors, Lead bullets.

Condor. Photo by Flickr user IvyMike used under a Creative Commons License
condor1 IvyMike

Here’s a California condor lead poisoning update from the latest weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. We’ve GOT to get the lead out of the environment! /Gary

From “Endangered Earth Online,” Feb. 25, 2010:
We’re sad to report that three endangered California condors — a female, her yearling chick, and a young male — have died of lead poisoning in northern Arizona.

Condor. Photo by Flickr user IvyMike used under a Creative Commons License
condor2 IvyMike

Two of the birds foraged extensively in Utah and likely were poisoned there by feeding on animals shot with lead bullets. California has made significant progress in banning lead bullets, and Arizona has made some, but Utah lags far behind in addressing the problem.

Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death in California condors and threatens many other species as well. This winter four bald eagles in southern Alberta, Canada, died from lead poisoning; two of the birds had lead concentrations five and nine times the fatal level. And a recent study in Yellowstone showed that grizzly bears have high blood-lead levels during hunting season from feeding on wounded elk shot with lead bullets.

The Center for Biological Diversity has been working to get the lead out in the United States since 2004, when we and allies filed a landmark petition that led to the required use of nonlead ammunition for hunting throughout the condor’s California range. Now we’re in the thick of a campaign to require nontoxic, lead-free bullets for hunting throughout the entire country, for the safety of condors, eagles, and all other wildlife — as well as for human health.

More from the Calgary Herald:

More from the Los Angeles Times:

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One Response to “Lead poisoning kills condors, bald eagles; poisons grizzlies”

  1. Casey Says:

    Could a lead bullet really poison an another animal? I could understand if either animal had other sources to pick up the lead poisoning, seeing as lead is natural resource. Do you think they have ever tested DMSA Synergy on these animals?

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