Two New California Studies Link Hunting to Lead in Scavenger Birds
Science News has a write up about two new studies that investigated the link between lead based hunting ammo and lead levels in scavenger birds. One study shows a strong link between turkey vulture lead levels and whether or not there was hunting of deer or pigs in the area. The other study showed that the California lead ammo ban in California condor range implemented in 2008 also reduced the lead exposure to golden eagles and turkey vultures.
"Hunting is an irreplaceable tool for wildlife management," said Christine Johnson, a UC Davis associate professor of veterinary medicine, "especially now that we have fewer large predators but more invasive species like wild pigs. Yet we know that accidental consumption of lead can make animals and people sick. "It just makes good sense to use non-toxic ammunition, wherever it is available, to protect wildlife as well as eliminate any potential risk to hunters and their families," she concluded.