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Lead poisoning: New bill gets the lead out of California wildlife areas

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 at 7:33 am in California condors, California quail, Lead bullets.

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

Just got my July 1, 2010 “Endangered Earth Online,”  my weekly e-newsletter of the Center for Biological Diversity. And as usual, it contains an article (see below) I want to share with you about wildlife and lead poisoning. /Gary

New Bill Gets the Lead Out of California Wildlife Areas
In another victory in the transition to nontoxic ammunition for hunting, the California Assembly has passed a bill banning the use of lead shot in California’s 667,000-acre network of state-owned wildlife-management areas.

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

Assemblyman Pedro Nava introduced the bill to prevent upland birds from ingesting and becoming poisoned by spent lead shot. Nonlead shot has already been required for more than two decades for hunting in wetlands, and recent studies have shown the devastating effects of lead poisoning on birds in upland areas as well.

“The science is increasingly clear that lead shot poses a real danger to bird populations on these lands,” Nava said in a statement. “With viable alternatives to lead shot — this is just a no-brainer.”

The Center for Biological Diversity has been working to get toxic lead out of the food chain since 2004, when we and allies first petitioned to require nonlead ammunition in habitat for the California condor — a severely endangered species whose recovery has been stymied by widespread lead poisoning from condors ingesting ammunition fragments from scavenged carcasses. California now requires lead-free hunting in the condor range, but the voluntary nonlead bullet programs in Utah and Arizona haven’t prevented condors in those states from continued high rates of lead poisoning.

The Center is now working harder than ever to get the lead out nationwide — for the benefit of all species that may consume toxic lead, including humans.

*** Read more in the Redding Record-Searchlight

*** and learn about the Center’s Get the Lead Out Campaign

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