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Lead- The #1 Killer of Condors

Since 1987, when there were only 27 California Condors alive, over 1000 eggs have successfully hatched. However, not all those birds survived, as there are only approximately 500 birds living today. Most of the birds who died did so because of ingesting micro amounts of lead ammunition.

Why is lead ammunition bad for California Condors?

This Xray of a deceased Condor shows the very small and lethal lead fragment. Condors ingest lead when eating wild animals who have been shot and not properly harvested, or from gut piles left behind.

X-ray of a condor with a lead pellet in it

Lead poisoned Condors can receive expert medical care, but many are too sick to recover.

When a Condor is at a medical facility, it recioeves care from dedicated specialists who work very hard to save and rehabilitate sick birds.

A condor in a vet surgery being prepared for an x-ray

Lead Education Outreach

Most hunters would agree that a good hunt is one that takes only one pull of the trigger and drops the animal with a quick, humane kill. The idea of accidentally poisoning other non-target wildlife isn't anyone's intention. But many birds and mammals feed on the gutpiles and carcasses that they find during and after hunting season.  In many cases, these animals unknowingly eat lead when the carcasses have been shot with lead ammo. 

Learn more at

CA Condor eating a dead cow calf
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