There is no better time than Earth Day to than draw attention to one of our many environmental disasters that are happening right now on our planet. This involves our own state, and one of our most beloved areas.
It’s astounding to me that 28 of the Grand Canyon region’s 80 condors have been treated for blood poisoning over the same time period, and that overall, 38 of the 166 condors reintroduced in Utah and Arizona since 1996 have been killed by lead poisoning. Even the Arizona Game and Fish Department indicates that lead toxicity has been identified as the leading cause of death in condors in the Arizona reintroduction program. Here’s the source for this fact: http://www. azgfd.gov/w_c/california_condor_lead.shtml
These avoidable deaths are just the latest chapter in a growing body of evidence demonstrating that lead bullets keep on poisoning and killing birds and other wildlife long after the ammunition takes down their initial prey.
It makes no sense that we’re allowing lead poisoning to continue its assault on wildlife long after the ammunition leaves the gun barrel.
With the help of the Endangered Species Act, which has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the more than 1,400 species it protects, we’ve gone to great efforts to save California condors from extinction.
Today, they are among the hundreds of plants and animals protected by the Act that are on the road to recovery, including our Apache trout, black-footed ferrets and Northern Aplomado falcons that we see right here in Arizona.
Here in the 40th year of the Endangered Species Act, let’s not throw away all our successful work, to date, to save California condors.
Dick and Sandi Crane