California Condors and Lead Poisoning

California Condors and Lead Poisoning


They’re just absolutely magnificent when you
see them with their giant wingspan and that enables them to forage very widely so they’re
able to find carcasses that are far away. They’re very effective at scavenging. They’re
completely dependent on scavenging, so they can only eat carcasses that been shot or killed
or died some other way. They are really codependent on hunting and so they need to know where
the intensive hunting areas are if they’re going to succeed on their own and not be fed
and supported by the condor program. They need to be able to figure out how to have
this coexistence with hunting and other types of shooting activities that leave carcasses
out for them. That’s going to be their main food source. When those animals are shot with
lead, the lead fragments quite a bit and condors are exposed when they go to ingest that carcass.
This was a major collaboration with US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department
of Fish and Wildlife, National Parks Service, Ventana Wildlife Society as well as USGS.
We all worked together to combine data and produce the first ever review of 15 years
of condor field work and health information.

3 thoughts on “California Condors and Lead Poisoning”

  1. #BirdsMatter!
    Please encourage the hunters you know to switch from lead ammunition. The alternative is slightly more expensive. But it can, and will save birds and other wildlife that feed on dead animals.

  2.  While it is true the Condors did die of lead poisoning, the lead did not come from bullets, it came from a different source, an actual digestible source (you have to remember, the lead is found in blood samples, not in the guts or body, as bullets are not digestible. That is what makes it blatantly obvious that the bullet ban science is not science at all, but propaganda. The fact that they try to get away with saying that they found bullet fragments in the guts of dead condors, is nothing short of pure hallucination. It is impossible to blame lead bullets for this poisoning.
    There was an article post about a year or so back stating that the lesd found in the blood and stomachs of condors was not consistant with the lead of ammunition or bird shot used in firearms. This means they are finding a different composition of lead somewhere else. If you casted any bullets you would be more familiar with which this intels. To put it simple most lead is mixed with other elements to make alloys. Lead shot has carbide, bullets have tin, antimony and possibly silver. These compositions where not found in the condors studied.

  3. Bruce, you are wrong lead bullets (shards) were found in xrays in the birds. They also eat alot of garbage, I do not believe it is safe to reintroduce them.

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