California Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed bill AB 821, which supports the continued recovery of the California Condor by banning the use of lead ammunition from areas inhabited by the endangered species.
Condors frequently feed on animal carcasses left behind by hunters, and ingest dangerously high levels of lead from ammunition. This lead consumption has been a major health issue for the condor re-introduction efforts and has been responsible for the death and illness of several California Condors.
The new law requires the use of non-lead, centerfire ammunition within the California Department of Fish and Game’s deer hunting zones that lie within current and potential condor range in California. Lead-free ammunition is increasingly available and will have no effect on hunters’ enjoyment of their sport. To the extent funding is available, big game hunters in these hunting zones will get coupons for non-lead ammunition at no or reduced prices.
Read the whole article and jump for joy! I'll be in California next week for the Central Valley Birding Symposium. Tragically, I won't be anywhere near where the condors are. But I'll be breathing a sigh of relief that the worst scourge they still face will soon be part of their past, not their future. Thank you, Arnold Schwarzenegger!