Target: U.S. Forest Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Goal: Protect California Condors in Arizona from lead poisoning by banning lead-based ammunition in Kaibab National Forest
The Center for Biological Diversity is preparing to sue the U.S. Forest Service for failing to protect Arizona’s California Condor population. Ninety five percent of the population is affected by lead poisoning and it’s their leading cause of death. Scientists believe the Condors get lead poisoning from eating carcasses that have been shot with lead bullets. Tell the U.S. Forest Service to ban lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest.
In the mid 1980s, there were only 22 California Condors left in the wild. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act, the species has had a spectacular recovery, with nearly 400 birds in the wild today. Officials in California took a major step for the protection of Condors in their state when they mandated the use of non-lead ammunition. However, officials in Arizona have failed to do the same and it has been disastrous for the population in their state. Over a dozen condors have died from lead poisoning recently. In 2006, 95% of the Condor population was exposed to lead and 70% had to be treated for lead poisoning. Experts say that as long as lead ammunition continues to be used in their habitat, recovery is unlikely.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department needs to take commanding steps to save these precious birds. The obvious first step is banning lead ammunition statewide. If they can’t take these proper steps, the U.S. Forest Service needs to come in and protect the Condors before it is too late. Stand with the Center for Biological Diversity as they try to hold politicians accountable for protecting our precious resources.
Dear Mr. Larry D Voyles, Executive of the Arizona Game and Fish Department,
Since being introduced in 1996, as many as 14 California Condors have died from lead poisoning in the state of Arizona. Scientists agree that the primary, and perhaps only, source of lead exposure for these birds is in the spent ammunition that remains inside the carcasses of game animals in places like the Kaibab National Forest. In 2006, 95% of the California Condor population was exposed to lead and 70% had to be treated for lead poisoning.
The recovery of the California Condor is a spectacular success story. In the mid 1980s, only 22 birds were left in the wild. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act and the ban of lead-based ammunition in the state of California, there are now almost 400 California Condors in the wild. But scientists agree that the birds cannot thrive in Arizona as long as lead ammunition continues to be used. We call on both the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Forest Service to take the proper steps needed to preserve these magnificent creatures. Please ban lead ammunition in the state of Arizona and save these precious animals from a slow and painful death.
[Your Name Here]