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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

 

March 15, 2004
Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton 202/208-5636

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Considers
Three New Waterfowl Shot Types

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a rule that will approve three shot types – the alloys of tungsten-bronze-iron, a new formulation of tungsten-iron, and tungsten-tin-bismuth – for use in waterfowl hunting.

"Protecting our waterfowl resource while maximizing waterfowl hunting opportunities have always been our goals," said Service Director Steve Williams. "With each new shot type approved, hunters will have a wider product range that will help ensure the future health of our waterfowl resources."

International Nontoxic Composites Corporation submitted an application for approval of tungsten-bronze-iron shot. ENVIRON-Metal Inc. submitted an application for their tungsten-iron shot formulation. Victor Oltrogge submitted an application for the tungsten-tin-bismuth shot formulation.

Waterfowl can ingest expended lead shot and many then die from lead poisoning. Efforts to phase out lead shot began in the 1970s and a nationwide ban on lead shot for all waterfowl hunting was implemented in 1991. Canada instituted a complete ban in 1999.

A study in the mid-1990s suggested that the nationwide ban in the United States on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has had remarkable success. Six years after the ban, researchers estimated a 64 percent reduction in lead poisoning deaths of surveyed mallard ducks and a 78 percent decline on ingestion of lead pellets.

Currently, the approved non toxic shot types are steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron and tungsten-iron-nickel-tin. For more information on toxic and nontoxic shot, please see <http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/issues/nontoxic_shot/nontoxic.htm>.

The proposed rule published in the Federal Register is available at <http://migratorybirds.fws.gov>, under the "Regulations" button on the left.

Please send comments on approval of the three new shot types by April 14, 2004 via the eRulemaking Portal at <http://www.regulations.gov> or by e-mail to <migratorybirds@fws.gov> or mail to Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop MBSP–4107, Arlington, Virginia 22203–1610.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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visit our homepage at http://www.fws.gov

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