Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle Threaten Health of Birds and Mammals

Scientific Papers Suggest New Pathways for Mitigation in Lead Debate

(July 9, 2014, The Condor: Ornithological Applications)—A new Review and accompanying Perspective paper outline the deadly effects on birds and mammals, including humans, of eating animals shot with lead ammunition.  Although shifting to non-lead alternatives is a complex technical, economic, and social problem, the analysis suggests that major reductions in exposure of wildlife and people to lead bullet fragments are achievable, particularly through outreach and incentive programs that focus on the most commonly used types of firearms for big game hunting.

The two papers, “The persistent problem of lead poisoning in birds from ammunition and fishing tackle” by biologists Susan M. Haig, Jesse D’Elia, Collin Eagles-Smith, Jeanne M. Fair, Jennifer Gervais, Garth Herring, James W. Rivers, and John H. Schulz; and “Considering the switch: Challenges of transitioning to non-lead hunting ammunition” by Clinton W. Epps,  are available as open access articles at http://www.aoucospubs.org/toc/cond/116/3