California condors poisoned by hunting guns

This video from the USA is called California Condors in Arizona by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

From Associated Press in the USA:

Endangered California condors turning up with lead poisoning

NOAKI SCHWARTZ, Associated Press Writer

Released : Tuesday, June 03, 2008 8:52 PM

LOS ANGELES-Seven endangered California condors, about 20 percent of Southern California’s population, have been found with lead poisoning.

The birds started turning up sick about a month ago during random trappings at Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge in the San Joaquin Valley.

One of the birds died during treatment at the Los Angeles Zoo and four others are still being treated there. A chick and its mother were sent to the zoo to undergo treatment.

Officials don’t yet know the source of the contamination, but a U.S. Fish and Wildlife official said the birds were likely poisoned by eating the carcasses of animals that had been shot by hunters.

Lead poisoning is a known threat to the majestic birds and the main reason the state is about to ban hunting with lead bullets.

Jesse Grantham, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife condor coordinator, called the poisonings alarming and said the agency was in “crisis mode.”

The California condor nearly went extinct in the 1980s, but a trapping and breeding program has helped restore the species. There are only about three dozen of the endangered birds in Southern California, and about 200 in the wild overall.

Experts believe lead poisoning is a major factor in preventing the species’ recovery.

Under a ban that takes effect July 1, it will be illegal for California hunters to possess or fire lead ammunition when they are in the birds’ habitat.

See also here.

California condor habitat: here.

Grand Canyon breeding ground for condors: here.

3 California condors killed by lead poisoning: here.

Lead Poisoning Kills Condors: here.

Raptors Survival Can Be Threatened By Ingesting Lead And Cadmium: here.

March 2010. Biologists at Pinnacles National Monument in California have verified the first California condor nest in the Monument in over 100 years. Condor 317, a female released at the monument as a 1 ½ year old bird in 2004, has paired with a six year old male, Condor 318, originally released along the Big Sur coast by Ventana Wildlife Society, here.

California Park Sees First Successful California Condor Hatching in Over 100 Years: here.

August 2010: A coalition of conservation, hunting and veterinary groups in America have filed a formal petition with the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a ban on the use of toxic lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle. Major efforts to reduce lead exposure to people have greatly reduced the amount of lead in the environment, but toxic lead is still a widespread killer in the wild, harming bald eagles, trumpeter swans, endangered California condors and other wildlife: here.

8 thoughts on “California condors poisoned by hunting guns

  1. Lead shot ban to save birds

    Wildlife campaigners have welcomed the decision to ban hunters in Northern Ireland from using lead shot in wetland areas from September 1 this year.

    Waterbirds are poisoned by lead gunshot pellets which they mistake for grit that they eat to aid digestion.

    The RSPB said: “This is a real breakthrough for us and we hope people will comply immediately.”


  2. American Bird Conservancy view

    Lead is one of the most toxic substances on Earth. For that reason, we have banned it from paint, gasoline, plumbing, kid’s toys and more. There is an overwhelming body of highly credible scientific evidence – almost 500, mostly peer-reviewed studies – that attest to the deadly effects of lead ammunition and lead shot on birds.

    Between 9 – 12 million birds die from lead shot and ammunition poisoning every year. It is absurd to suggest – as the hunting lobby does — that until an entire animal species is threatened with extinction, there is no problem. At least 75 bird species have been poisoned by lead ammunition, including bald eagles, golden eagles, mourning doves, common ravens, and endangered California condors.

    There may be population level effects from lead poisoning on sensitive species such as condors, cranes, eagles, and swans. Many scavengers are poisoned after consuming the carcasses of animals shot with lead ammunition. In the water, lead-based fishing weights that sink to the bottom are often mistaken for food or grit and ingested by trumpeter swans, ducks, geese, loons, and other birds.

    Lead shot banned from waterfowl hunting – Duck hunting has increased
    It is also ridiculous to say that going to lead ammunition and shot will stop hunting from taking place. The same argument was made in 1991 when lead shot was banned from waterfowl hunting. About 20 years later, we find out that the exact opposite has happened — the sale of duck stamps has increased about 30 percent. The anti-lead effort is not anti-hunting nor is it anti-fishing – though those spinning this issue in the hunting lobby would have you believe that it is.


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  6. Pingback: California condors and lead ammunition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  8. Pingback: Lead bullet poison in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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