From Wildlife Extra:
Dead condor found in Zion National Park in Utah
Lead poisoning suspected
January 2013. The Peregrine Fund, a driving force behind the conservation of Californian condors, had been hopeful that a pair of condors in Zion National Park would produce the first offspring in the state for many years.
A Peregrine Fund spokesman said “Our hopeful pairing of adult condors 299 and 343 to be the first successful Utah pair has been hampered over the past few years by us having to treat one of them for lead poisoning during breeding season. Sadly, we have now found the adult 9-year-old female (Condor 343) dead in Zion National Park in Utah. This is a major step back from Utah’s first breeding.”
Official necropsy results are pending to determine cause of death, but this year’s trapping results show a very high rate of lead poisoning in almost all of the Utah foraging birds.
There are just 400 Californian condors alive today, of which around 175 are in captivity. The California condor has recovered from only 22 birds left in the world in 1982 to around 400 today. The original 22 birds were captured in an effort to breed and save the species. Condors bred and raised in captivity are now periodically released at sites in California, Mexico and at the Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona.
- Several California condors dead since September (sfgate.com)
- More Grand Canyon condors die of lead poisoning (phys.org)
- Lead threat grows for rare US birds (bbc.co.uk)
- Utah condor death toll highest in years due to lead poisoning (ksl.com)
- Oregon Zoo hatches its first California condor chick of the year (oregonlive.com)
- Lead Ammo Poisons Condors in Grand Canyon (livescience.com)
- Grand Canyon Condors Continue To Die From Lead Poisoning (naturalhistorywanderings.com)
- Conservationists renew push to ban lead shot (azdailysun.com)