WESPEN Online Order Form print this page
US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
Condor Recovery: New Video Presents a Case for Using Non-Lead Ammunition
Region 8, June 20, 2007
California condor 412 at Hopper Mountain National Widlife Refuge in southern California.
California condor 412 at Hopper Mountain National Widlife Refuge in southern California. - Photo Credit: n/a

The Condor Connection: Making The Case for Lead-Free Ammunition” is a new video  that aims to inform and educate hunters and the public about how fragments from lead ammunition are poisoning California condors.  The 15-minute video, produced by the California and Nevada Operations Office and the National Conservation Training Center, includes interviews with condor biologists, hunters and others who discuss the impacts of lead on Condor health, as well as the ballistic and environmental advantages of using lead free ammunition.

Highlights of the video include: 

Interviews with Chris Parish, condor recovery program coordinator for the Peregrine Fund in Arizona. Parish presents compelling evidence of how fragments from spent lead ammunition remains in carcasses and carion of hunted animals in the field. The tiny fragments are ingested by condors when they feed on the carcasses, reslting in lead poisoning. 

Cathy Sullivan, condor recovery coordinator for the Arizona Department of Game and Fish, explains the State's innovative program that provides free non-lead ammunition to hunters drawing big-game tags in Arizona's condor country. The program is supported by the majority of hunters, who feel the ammunition performs as well, or better than leaded ammunition. 

Excerpts from a February press conference where Tejon Ranch Company CEO Bob Stine announced lead ammunition will no longer be used in the ranch's private hunting program.  The 270,000 ranch located in the heart of condor country in southern California, hosts the state's  largest private hunting program.  The voluntary action by Tejon to improve environment for condors was applauded by several agencies and conservation organizations, inlcuding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, Audubon California, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The video is currently being produced in DVD format and will be distributed to USFWS refuges and offices and  members of the California Condor Recovery Team in California, Arizona and Mexico.  A Spanish language version will also be produced.  

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov