Lead ammunition banned for hunting wildlife in California

California has banned lead ammunition for hunting wildlife due in part to concerns about the impacts of lead on California condor recovery efforts. ©Kim Valverde/USFWS

Lead ammunition is now banned for hunting wildlife in California. The new regulation is actually the final phase of a California law passed in 2013. The regulation came about at least in part due to impacts on the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus). Biologists say recovery efforts for the endangered bird have been hampered due to condors ingesting lead in the bodies and gut piles of the animals they scavenge. “Lead is the number one mortality factor for free-flying juvenile and adult California condors, and work that we have done has shown that lead poisoning is preventing their recovery,” UC Santa Cruz wildlife toxicologist Myra Finkelstein told the radio station KQED. “So it is the major threat that’s impeding their ability to recover in the wild.”

Read more of KQED’s interview with Myra Finkelstein here.