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article imageOnce Endangered Condors Being Poisoned By Lead In California

By Nikki Weingartner     Jun 8, 2008 in Environment
Once nearly extinct, the condor is under fire again as lead poisoning is making them sick and even killing them. The cause of the lead is speculated to be secondary contamination from hunter's ammunition used to kill other animals.
With the California Condor population plummeting to just 9 birds back in the mid 1980s, major efforts were made by organizations to bring the almost extinct bird back to a remotely safe number. Today, there only around 200 of the birds in the wild and is still on the endangered species list.
A report on MSN today says that these beautiful giants are once again under attack, as 20 percent of California's condor population is currently being treated for lead poisoning.
The culprit of the lead poison has not been confirmed but on July 1st, it will be illegal in California for hunters to use or even possess lead ammunition in condor habitats, concluding that lead from ammo has something to do with the poisoning of these majestic birds. The birds were most likely eating the carcasses of animals shot by hunters using lead ammunition.
The recent outbreak has placed the bird's well-being on alert and according to Jesse Grantham, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife condor coordinator, the poisonings were:
alarming and said the agency was in "crisis mode."
The lead-free ammunition is said to be scarce and for those hunters who have not planned accordingly, this could mean a dry hunting season. For those who choose to disregard the ban, the fine ranges from $500 to $5,000 US dollars. Quite an expensive endeavor.
Co-existing with nature is not something that we should choose to do. The continued development of man-made structures destroys the habitats of many birds across the country. For the endangered condor, keeping the lead out of their habitats is a small contribution to the survival of the animal and of mankind.
More about Condors, Lead, Poisioning
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