[Source: Readitnews.com] — Arizona’s sportsmen and women are stepping up to help the recovery of endangered California condors. For the fourth consecutive year, participation in the state’s voluntary non-lead ammunition program has grown. Surveys shows that 90 percent of hunters took measures in 2008 to reduce the amount of available spent lead ammunition in the condor’s core range versus 80 percent the year prior.
“We are very encouraged by the high participation rate in 2008 and the year-over-year increases since the program began,” says Kathy Sullivan, the condor program biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “It clearly indicates that hunters are aware of the conservation challenges condors face, and they are willing to voluntarily take action to reduce the available lead.”
Lead poisoning has been identified as the leading cause of death in condors and the main obstacle to a self-sustaining population in Arizona. Studies show that lead shot and bullet fragments found in game carcasses and gut piles are the main source of lead in condors. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]