Lawsuit Launched to Save California Condors

Conservation groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and the Grand Canyon Wildland Council have notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) of their intent to file a lawsuit over the agency’s failure to protect endangered California condors from lead poisoning in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest.

Scientists unanimously believe that lead ammunition left behind by hunters that enters the food chain is the leading cause of death for condors. In 2006, 95 percent of the population had suffered from lead exposure in Arizona and 70 percent was treated for it, while an estimated 12 to 14 have died from lead poisoning, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

In addition to condors, lead poisoning is an issue that adversely affects a variety of species, but despite the fact that safer alternatives to lead ammunition exist, hunters continue to use it and millions of animals continue to get sick and die unnecessarily from poisoning every year. While measures have been taken to regulate lead in some areas, and for some types of hunting, the USFWS has failed to regulate its use on public lands in Arizona and continues to allow its use in an area that is vital to the California condors survival and recovery, even though it has the authority and obligation to make changes in order to protect threatened or endangered species.

“At a time when other agencies are stepping up efforts to get toxic lead out of the food chain, the U.S. Forest Service continues to bury its head in the sand, refusing to exercise its authority to protect wildlife on its lands and prevent the needless lead poisoning of Arizona’s condors,” said Jay Lininger, a conservation advocate with the Center. “If we want condors to survive, we must stop using ammunition that contaminates their food supply with toxic lead, especially on our national forests.”

According to a statement from the Center for Biological Diversity, the groups hope to work with the USFWS to solve this problem, but will continue with the lawsuit if no solution is reached.

Get the Lead Out!

Please sign the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition urging the Environmental Protection Agency to help stop the senseless poisoning of our wildlife by regulating lead hunting ammunition.

Related Stories:

House Passes Controversial Pro-Hunting Legislation

It’s Time to End Wildlife Poisoning from Lead Hunting Ammunition

Three California Condors Dead from Lead Poisoning

Photo credit: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region

67 comments

Lynn D.
Lynn D.3 years ago

Signed, hope it goes through! Thanks for article!

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.3 years ago

I signed that petition a llong time ago, on the CBD's web-site, and would love to find that the condors , and other animals have been protected from lead.

christine robertson

Hunting for anything but for food is a redundant past time for people who have to prove themselves by killing something that can't defend itself. How sporting is it to shoot an animal from hundreds of metres away and that isn't even aware that you are there in many cases. If you are that keen to kill another living creature or to harm something else fight it face to face or get into a ring an bash another willing human.

Carrie Anne Brown

already signed, but thanks for sharing :)

Beverly G.
bev g.3 years ago

YES I AGREE STOP STOP STOP ALL HUNTING. LEVE THE ANIMALS ALONE

Beverly G.
bev g.3 years ago

YES I AGREE STOP STOP STOP ALL HUNTING. LEVE THE ANIMALS ALONE

Beverly G.
bev g.3 years ago

sickenng sickening.

Julianna D.
Juliana D.3 years ago

Ban trophy hunting, if your going to kill something, waste not.

mari s.
Mari S.3 years ago

What's more, I believe that all hunting of wildlife should be banned no matter what the weapon! If you, Human, like to shoot things, try inanimate objects for your target practice -- don't leave your poisonous ammo laying around, though! That's killing them too -- if it's not direct bullets, it's the lead that you leave behind -- get another pastime! This is a despicable, horrible activity! This barbaric urge to kill innocent animals! Something's wrong!

Grace Adams
Grace Adams3 years ago

Tax lead! For all its uses, tax lead enough to pay the costs imposed on innocent bystanders by lead in lead containing products getting loose in the environment. Human lives are at stake also.