Tell state wildlife officials to protect California condors from poisonous lead bullets

Lead ammunition is threatening to wipe out the last surviving California condors. After several public hearings, the California Fish and Game Commission is poised to vote this month on whether to ban this poisonous hunting ammunition in counties where condors live.

The California condor, North America's largest bird, is one of the most endangered animals on earth. Today there are 138 condors in the wild, 61 of which fly free in California. One of the leading causes of condor deaths is lead poisoning, which occurs when the birds accidentally ingest lead bullet fragments found in their prey. Lead poisoning has caused nine confirmed condor deaths since 1992 and has been implicated in the death or disappearance of at least 15 more condors. Other birds, such as golden and bald eagles, are also susceptible to lead contamination from ingesting lead fragments in ammunition.

The California Fish and Game Commission is considering changing its hunting regulations to ban lead ammunition in counties with condor populations. Such a ban would help protect these birds and others from lead contamination and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

The commission will vote on the ban at its April 12-13 meeting in Bodega Bay.

== What to do ==

Send a message, before April 12th, urging the California Fish and Game Commission to ban the use of lead ammunition in counties where condors live.

== Contact information ==

You can send an official comment directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at // Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message.

Doug Updike, Acting Chief, Wildlife Programs California Department of Fish and Game
1812 Ninth Street Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-445-4048

== Sample letter ==

Subject: Ban lead ammunition in condor habitat

Dear Acting Chief Updike,

I urge the California Fish and Game Commission to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting activities in California hunting zones where condors are found.

Leading scientists have concluded that lead poisoning is a major obstacle to the recovery of the California condor. In addition to condors, other birds, such as golden and bald eagles, also are poisoned by ingesting lead shot and lead bullet fragments.

Alternatives to lead ammunition for many hunting activities are already widely available.

Please act now to protect the natural heritage of all Californians and save the California condor.


[Your name and address]


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