Over Two Thirds of Fatalities of Endangered California Condors Caused by Lead Poisoning

[singlepic id=311 w=435 h=580 float=left]A new study authored by San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research scientists has found that 67 percent of adult condor deaths are attributable to lead poisoning! The massive effort to save the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) was initiated in 1982 when the remaining 22 wild birds were captured in a last-ditch effort to save the species. Of the 390 condors that exist today, 210 are in the wild, with 118 in California, 73 in Arizona and 19 in Mexico. Raptor Politics has featured the plight of the Californian Condor and the problems  caused by lead ammunition favoured by American hunters in the past. Once again this story clearly highlights how politics is being placed before the interests of a critically endangered and protected raptor in the United States.

The American Bird Conservancy has analyzed almost 500, mostly peer-reviewed studies, and determined that the source of the vast majority of lead poisoning of birds and other wildlife is lead ammunition from hunting.

Darin Schroeder, Vice-President for Conservation Advocacy for American Bird Conservancy said, “Here we have another peer-reviewed study with independent scientists confirming that lead is needlessly and tragically killing protected wildlife. While the nation has removed the lead from paint, gasoline, children’s toys, water pipes, and even car wheel weights, we are still using toxic ammunition. Acceptable lead-free alternatives exist, and we need every hunter in America to make the switch to save the lives of countless non-game birds.”

Co-author of the study, Joseph Brandt, supervisory biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ventura said, “Here again, we are at another crossroads. We have a (wild) population established, and now we need to face down or correct the threats that we see the population being exposed to.”

Brandt didn’t know how much money has been spent on condor recovery efforts since the start, but he said investment by the federal government and its partners today tops $1 million annually.

Why can’t we ban lead ammunition in America? I mean, really? Is this a no-brainer or what?

We have spent the last 30 years trying to save the California Condor from extinction and doing a pretty damn good job of it, but we can’t get politicians to pass laws banning a poisonous ammunition that is not only killing condors but countless other species as well?

Related stories:

EPA says no to lead ammo ban

Senators Battle Environmentalists Seeking to Ban Lead in Ammunition

EPA Surrenders to NRA on Gun Control Issue

Follow this link  to find out which American Congressmen are in receipt of kick-backs from the shooting and gun lobby.

2 comments to Over Two Thirds of Fatalities of Endangered California Condors Caused by Lead Poisoning

  • Alastair Henderson

    It is a fact that there are 249 American Congressmen who support “Gun Rights” and each receive amounts ranging from $53,710 to $50. The total received by these Congressmen is testament to how thriving an industry there is in America [and elsewhere]. A ban on the manufacture of lead shot would not jeopardise the industry since shooting would continue. The industry will not change without legislation to ban lead shot and these Congressmen are paid to block any bill.This may be a simplistic view but the Californian Condors suffer the consequences of bureaucratic stagnation.

  • John Miles

    Not much difference in this country with all the toffs ignoring the wildfowl ban and leaving it to the wildfowl clubs to keep the law!!