lead ammunition still hampers condor recovery

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 2:54 PM


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.— Efforts to reintroduce the endangered California condor into the wild continue to be hampered by lead poisonings, predation and shootings.

The program otherwise has seen marked improvements. That’s according to the most recent five-year review of the reintroduction program released Monday.

The number of free-ranging condors has gone up, along with the number of breeding pairs. Condor chicks also have hatched in each of the past five years.

Exposure to lead ammunition remains a problem.

Officials say many hunters in Arizona have given up lead ammunition, but a volunteer program is needed in southern Utah to keep condors from feasting on it in carcasses.

The condors nearly were extinct in the early 1980s. The Peregrine Fund says there are now around 75 condors in a flock that roams the Arizona/Utah border.

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