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Condor Lead Poisoning Drops To Lowest Number Since 2005

(Photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

National and local wildlife conservationists said the number of California condors treated for lead poisoning in Arizona and Utah dropped last year.

The agencies now report that 13 condors were treated for lead poisoning between Sept. 2013 and Aug. 2014 — down from 28 birds treated the previous year.

Chris Parish is with The Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit group dedicated to saving birds of prey from extinction. He said the numbers are down because hunters are using lead-free bullets when hunting where condors exist or they’re removing carcasses containing lead.

“Eighty-eight percent voluntary participation by the hunting community on the Kaibab Plateau has surely reduced the amount of lead available to condors and other scavengers," Parish said. "And the same can be said about Utah.  50-percent of the hunters up there took led reduction actions.”

Parish says in 1982 there were 22 condors in existence.  Today, there are more than 430 condors in existence.


Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez was a reporter at KJZZ from 2008 to 2015.