lead research study and condors?


Well-Known Member
I thought a while back some one posted a study about condors and lead poisoning and how the lead is coming somewhere other than hunters... anybody remember or know what post that might be??? Thanks.


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I typed in, condor and came up with a few topics but, I found nothing particular regarding this issue. I have read some place else what you are talking about and the issue leaned toward other sources for the lead., including lead shot.

fish dog

Well-Known Member
Might be the one I posted a while back. I haven't had time to update it so some of the links in it don't work but I'll re-post it... it's a long one but has some good info. Apologies if this isn't the one you were thinking of...

Lead bans are a crock-o-sheet... This is quite long but kind of covers the subject. Also, I compiled most of this evidence a couple years or more ago and some of the links may not work anymore but I can assure you they were active when I researched this originally, I just don't have the time right now to go through them and update them. If any are dead or changed I'm sure a quick search will yield similar to what is described. Here's the info (it is quite long but I hope you will take the time to read it, it will open your eyes):

Banning lead IMHO is pseudo-science. Let's do a little thinking here:

What is a condor? - A super-sized vulture.

What do condors do? - Eat dead things (carrion).

How many turkey vultures are there in the world? -

The current world population of this New World species almost certainly exceeds five million birds. Most populations of this adaptable species appear to be thriving.

(source: http://www.hawkmountain.org/raptorpedia/hawks-at-hawk-mountain/hawk-species-at-hawk-mountain/turkey-vulture/page.aspx?id=644http://www.hawkmountain.org/raptorp...hawk-mountain/turkey-vulture/page.aspx?id=644 )

What do turkey vultures do? - Eat dead things (carrion).


If 10% per year of these populations (condor and turkey vulture) were dying of lead poisoning that would mean there would be 500,000 turkey vultures lying all over the landscape...don't you think maybe people would be finding a few of these?

I remember, a while ago, there was a documentary on TV about the Grand Canyon. In one segment they interviewed and went out in the field with, a biologist studying condors in the G.C. area. He went on and on about how the evil hunters were killing all the condors by leaving their lead-laced gut piles all over the place. Well, happened to be that they got a call regarding a dead condor nearby. All the way over to pick it up this gentleman is saying how he's betting it was lead poisoning and this will be another lead-related death and so on. Well they get the bird back to the lab and start to examine it and come to find out the thing choked to death on a quarter...that's right...a 25 cent piece. This biologist was so disappointed that it wasn't lead poisoning he could hardly stand it.

So there you have a documented case of a quarter killing a condor. Now what? Are we going to ban coins from the condors areas now?

This is the type of "expert" that people are relying on for this bogus lead ban.

One more thing. I read somewhere that in California Fish & Wildlife were finding that 99% of hunters in the lead ban area were in compliance with the lead ban. Believe it or not, the source for this report was the Center for Biological Diversity, the folks probably most responsible for the condor area lead ban. Don't believe me? Look for yourself.


So, if hunters have been in 99% compliance with the lead ban which has been in effect for 5+ years then where are these condors getting their lead? Maybe some of these environmentalists are lacing carcasses with lead? (Nah, they wouldn't do that would they....) Or, maybe, these condors like picking through the mine tailing piles at some of the thousands of old abandoned mines in the condor areas? Just a little more to think about. By this group's own admission hunters are complying with the lead ban and it, apparently, isn't helping. The only conclusion I can come to is that hunters are not the source of this (alleged) lead.

No one in their right mind thinks that lead isn't toxic.

Now, the real question is, if condors are getting lead from hunter's bullets then how or where are they STILL getting it if hunters are 99% in compliance with the lead ban?

If you reduce the alleged source of the lead by 99% and the condors are still being poisoned at about the same rate then we obviously have not removed the source of their lead.

This thereby proves that hunters are NOT the source of this lead that the condors are allegedly ingesting.

My bullets are about as likely to poison a condor as my fishing sinkers that are sitting in my garage.

Let's again do a little thinking with our brains instead of the left-liberal method of thinking with our "heart". In 2006 in California's A zone deer area there were 33,160 tags issued. The south half of A zone covers approximately 1/2 of the condor area in the state. If you figure 2/3 of the hunters hunted in the south half of A zone (the half in the condor area) that would give you 22,107 hunters in that area. Of the total number of hunters, 9.5% were successful at harvesting a deer or 3,159 deer for the entire A zone area. Take 2/3 of that number, (since we're taking out the north end of the zone that's not in the condor area) and that gives you 2,106 deer harvested. (Although that number would probably be high as the north half of A zone is usually better hunting than the south end). If 10% of those were taken with a bow and arrow then that removes 211 deer from having potential lead in them, which takes the number of deer harvested that might have lead in them down to 2,085. If each of those deer were taken with a 150 grain bullet AND the entire bullet stayed inside the deer's gut area to be available for the condors to eat (extremely unlikely as most of these small coastal deer (100 - 150 pounds) suffer pass-through wounds) that would leave a potential 312750 grains of lead for the condors to pick out of the gut piles. As you probably know there are 7000 grains in a pound. This would give you a whopping 44.67 pounds of lead spread out through an area from Ventura to San Francisco and from the middle of the central valley to the coast, an area approximately 300 miles x 200 miles. Now, if you realistically figure 20% of that lead is left inside the deers' gut piles that leaves you 8.93 pounds of lead in that same area. Now, you're telling me 9 pounds of lead spread out over 60,000 square miles is poisoning the condors? Really? Give me a break.

I have seen quotes by "experts" that the source of lead poisoning condors was "likely" hunter's bullets...(in other words no real proof)...

This is exactly the type of bogus science that they're putting out there to get the ban. Can you imagine this type of evidence in a court for say a murder trial....

Defense Attorney - "So, you say these victims died of lead poisoning?"
"Expert" witness (aka - environmentalist "scientist") - "Yes."
DA - "And the source of that lead is...?"
EW - "We don't know for sure."
DA - "And of the 39 other deaths that weren't attributed to lead, what did they die from?"
EW - "Different things but a lot of them we couldn't tell so we decided to blame lead from hunter's bullets for those too."
DA - "Why?"
EW - "Because it was easy to blame something as unpopular as hunting."
DA - "So, how many of these victims have died of lead poisoning?"
EW - "We don't know but I'm betting at least half of them did."
DA - "Do you have any proof of this?"
EW - "No. But I know it in my heart."
DA - "Then how can you say that?"
EW - "Because we had to come up with something and it was easy to blame lead and hunter's bullets."

Ah, yeah....that would hold up in court....

If one does a little research you’d find out that most of the condors that are dying are succumbing to "micro-trash". This is documented on the condor-huggers websites and blogs. Here’s a quote from a hunter that did a little research.

They (condors) eat anything. Apparently, they are attracted to shiny objects, cause they keep eating METAL!!! Hello?

I did some research on these birds (reading the condor lovers own info) and they are not well adjusted to modern times. To say these birds are dying because of hunters is like saying a drug addict isn’t responsible for taking drugs. The condor recovery people have "CLEAN UP DAYS" in the LPNF (Los Padres National Forest) in order to collect small bits of metal so the stupid condors don't end up eating it. I am serious, this info is on the web. But all we hear about is the EVIL hunter's LEAD and how dangerous lead bullets are. This is HYPE!!! 100%

The Bottom Line:
These birds have an unnatural genetic drive to consume METAL. Period! How then is anyone responsible for their actions, but them alone?â€

Eating trash & "Clean up days" links: (Again, I wrote this a while back so the first 5 of these links are no good now (sorry) but they did show what I described at the time. Someday, when I have time I'll go back and revise the links - the 6th link is eye-opening, however)...


...Everything from metal springs and glass fragments to bits of electrical wiring and cloth has been found in the crops and gizzards of the deceased chicks, as well as in condor nests. The body of one nestling contained a veritable trash pile: 30 metal items, 54 glass, 28 pieces of plastic and 2 miscellaneous items a total of 200.5 grams of junk. Another contained 193.5 grams, and several others held 60 grams or more...

This list is not exhaustive. I don't have enough time to finish it. There is a LOT of research on these prehistoric animals.

http://www.fws.gov/h...ay 2 Sml250.jpg

X-ray of condor chicks gizzard with bottle caps, shards of glass and metal objects.

http://www.lpfw.org/...sh in chick.JPG

A radiograph showing micro-trash ingested by a condor.
Photo courtesy USFWS.

http://www.lpfw.org/... from chick.JPG

Stomach contents of a California condor. Photo courtesy USFWS.

..and a little more info...

A report issued by the California Fish & Game Commission on blood lead levels in California condors was inconclusive and supported the National Shooting Sports Foundation's contention that there is no scientific basis for the state's ban on traditional ammunition in condor regions. The department and commission noted that the "sources of lead in sampled condors are unknown, relationship of sampled condors to hunting activity are unknown, and . . . the condor feeding habits for this period . . . are unknown."

Here's what is known: Condors feed on small pieces of garbage called micro-trash. Micro-trash includes batteries, plastics and painted-fence pieces. Certainly, a much more reasonable explanation for why some condors have elevated blood lead levels is that they are feeding on these lead-based products comprising micro-trash. Of course, this likelihood is also overlooked by the Audubon Society.

(source: http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/HIMC.htmlhttp://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/HIMC.html )

Gee...what a surprise...conveniently overlooked by the Audubon Society I'd say...

Also, to top that off, the explosion of lethal prop-style wind farms being built in condor habitat is putting the hard-won future of the condor at risk.

Many condors undoubtedly perish at such wind farms, although official reports attribute losses to other causes. Remember, great financial investments often warrant great cover-ups by those who stand to lose money.

"although official reports attribute losses to other causes"...like maybe lead from hunter's bullets??? Gee...what a surprise....

(source: http://www.examiner.com/wildlife-conservation-in-national/california-condors-wind-farms-on-collision-coursehttp://www.examiner.com/wildlife-co...fornia-condors-wind-farms-on-collision-course )

So, now we have "micro-trash" and wind farms...and my 140 grains of lead is the big problem?!?!? Give me a break....

The government began releasing condors in 1992, and there are now about 130 condors in the wild, 68 of them in California. Of 127 condors released in California from 1992 through 2006, 46 birds (36 percent) died or disappeared and are presumed dead. Scientists say poisoning from scavenging carcasses tainted by lead ammunition is likely responsible for many of the deaths.
These figures were published five years ago when wildlife advocates filed suit to replace toxic lead bullets with safer alternatives. Now 5 years later, despite the ban on lead bullets, the number of missing and presumed dead condors is even higher.

...again, proving my point...

Condors were on their way out long ago. I read where around the 1890's there were supposedly about 600 condors left...all in California (none in their "traditional" range in Mexico or Arizona). Why were they already disappearing (without people "helping" them disappear)? I've also read that for any type of animal to have a viable, sustainable population in the wild they need to have at least 5000 individual animals in their population. If condors were already down to 600 in the 1890's and were only living in a small percentage of their historical range isn't that evidence that they were already on the way out. Aren't we just postponing the inevitable at great cost and the imposition of unnecessary regulations?

Here an idea for the environmentalists if they really and truly thought banning lead ammo was the panacea for their condor lead poisoning. Why don't they put some of those millions of dollars they waste testing, treating and artificially rearing condors and give subsidies to the ammo companies so that this "life saving" non-toxic ammo would cost the hunters the same as comparable lead ammo? It would probably be much cheaper and then there would be no excuse for hunters to use anything else. (even though hunters are in 99% compliance now). You know why they don't do this? It's because this whole thing is a march towards banning hunting. Why wouldn't they do something as simple as providing the non-toxic ammo and just solve the alleged "problem"? Because that's not the agenda. After all, if you think about it since hunters are supposedly creating the problem (with lead ammo) if they provide a way with no excuse not to for everyone to use non-toxic ammo then they shouldn't have to do anything else and these birds would begin to flourish! Yeah....right.

(Again apologies for some of the dead links. I have not had time to re-research some of this but I can assure you there were all active and what is described was accurate when I first researched it. )

Here's a little more non-condor lead info...


July 23, 2012

Greater Yellowstone Area: In a recent study published by The Wildlife Society, researchers from the University of Montana and the Avian Program of Craighead Beringia South found that lead ammunition fragments in game carcasses were not a source of lead exposure or lead poisoning in large carnivores.

From 2007-2009, researchers captured and sampled blood from 82 grizzly bears, 35 black bears, 12 wolves and 6 cougars within the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The researchers also collected over 400 scat samples from these same animals to test for lead projectile fragments. No statistical difference in blood-lead levels was noted between samples collected before hunting season and samples collected during hunting season. Further, no lead fragments were found in any of the over 400 scat samples taken by the researchers.

The grizzly bears had the highest blood-lead levels of all the animals sampled. On average, their blood-lead level was 5.5 micrograms/deciliter, well below the 45 microgram/deciliter threshold toxicity level typically used by wildlife organizations, such as the Condor Recovery Program. The other animals studied did not show lead exposure in any significant blood-lead levels.

The study concluded that the hunting season has no effect on the blood-lead levels in large carnivores.

The results surprised the researchers, who pre-conditionally expected scavenging carnivores, such as the grizzly and black bear, to exhibit high blood-lead levels during the hunting season due to hunters gut-piles and carrion left in the field within the Greater Yellowstone area. Indeed, the bears in the study rely heavily on carrion as a food source in order to gain over 100 pounds before hibernating during the winter.

The study results cast serious doubt on the anti-lead ammunition campaigns claims that lead ammunition is the primary source of lead poisoning in wildlife. The data clearly indicates a more continuous, year-round alternative source of lead exposure within the Greater Yellowstone range of these large carnivores.

To combat the misguided efforts by environmental activists and researchers seeking to infringe on hunting regulations, the NRA and California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation (CRPAF) have collected thousands of documents via public records act requests over the last several years on the use of lead ammunition. Many of these documents raise serious doubts about the veracity of claims that lead ammunition is poisoning California condors, wildlife or humans. In fact, many documents obtained indicate these claims are based on faulty science, and the NRA and CRPAF have used these documents to debunk the faulty science being proffered to implement various lead ammunition bans across the U.S. The NRA and CRPA efforts are critical in defending the status quo for hunters and recreational shooters nationwide. For more information regarding lead ammunition, join the Hunt for Truth.

...and just a little more condor info...


Ventura, California. On August 8, 2012, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) rejected a proposed expansion of the ban on the use of lead ammunition. The proposed lead ammunition ban would have extended the existing AB 821 lead ammunition ban in the Condor Zone, to include hunting in State Wildlife Areas, Ecological Reserves and for depredation hunts.

After reviewing past discussions and information alleged to support the expansion of lead ammunition bans in California, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the National Audubon Society (Audubon) both presented new information on the issue, and the Commission rejected the proposed expansion and abandoned any attempt for a vote to “go to notice†on the proposed regulations, stopping the lead ban in its tracks.

The proponents for the lead ammunition ban relied on recent publications by UC Davis and UC Santa Cruz researchers to support their desired expansion, even though they provide contradictory conclusions regarding the effectiveness of the AB 821 lead ammunition ban. UC Davis researchers, Terra R. Kelly and Christine K. Johnson published two studies that purported to show that golden eagles and turkey vultures have a significantly higher blood-lead level during hunting season in comparison to the off-season, and that lead exposure in both species declined significantly after the implementation of the AB 821 lead ammunition ban.

But NRA's presentation convinced the Commissioners that the AB 821 lead ammunition ban was ineffective. NRA obtained and analyzed tens of thousands of pages of public records and data and presented the findings to the Commission. NRA showed how the studies were fatally flawed, and how the real data actually showed the opposite that blood-lead levels not only remained static but actually slightly increased after AB 821 was implemented. NRA also obtained information regarding the Departments own law enforcement survey, which indicated that 99% of all hunters were found to be in compliance with the lead ammunition ban.

UC Santa Cruz researchers Myra Finkelstein and Donald Smith recently published a paper that admitted that the AB 821 ban on hunters lead ammunition in the Condor Zone has had no effect on reducing condor blood-lead levels. But, they insist that their research supports their conclusion that condor lead exposure and poisoning is due to hunters lead ammunition. The NRA's prosecutor showed that their conclusions are unfounded.

The UC Santa Cruz researchers latest publication purported to show that isotopic ratios of lead found in the blood of condors matched the lead isotopic ratios of lead found in ammunition. The researchers again used the discredited isotopic compositional analysis to claim that the isotopic ratios of lead from the captive condors fall within background range of lead in the California environment, while free-flying condors had lead isotopic ratios that more closely matched hunters lead ammunition.

NRA again analyzed public records and data, and peer-reviewed papers, including the UC authors own publications, and showed that the most recent article was based on data that was cherry picked to reach their predetermined conclusions. Indeed, the researchers own conclusions in earlier publications clearly contradicted their most recent conclusions regarding the isotopic ratio range for lead in ammunition and paint.

After NRA and National Audubon Society gave their respective presentations, Commissioners were convinced that lead ammunition is not the sole contributor to lead exposure in wildlife. Alternative sources, such as lead paint, gasoline and pesticides also play a role in lead exposure and poisoning in wildlife. In response, Commissioners decided to form a committee to get to the bottom of the scientific debate. The committee will include Commission President Jim Kellogg, Commissioner Michael Sutton, and scientists from both the NRA and Audubon.

The NRA has been spearheading an effort to gather information and science to oppose claims by environmental groups seeking to limit or ban recreational shooting, hunting and lead ammunition. To assist in these efforts, NRA has engaged the expertise of environmental experts and scientists, as well as the civil rights and environmental law firm of Michel & Associates, P.C. The efforts include coordinating with interested parties to plan, research, conduct clerical work, and make numerous formal requests for documents from government agencies through Public Records Act and Freedom of Information Act requests. NRA's team has obtained and analyzed over one hundred thousand pages of public records concerning information relied on to propose and allegedly support recreational shooting, hunting and lead ammunition bans, including original data and internal documents not previously obtained or reviewed by independent analysts or the public at large.

The effort has already resulted in the rejection of several proposed and ill-conceived bans throughout the United States.

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Active Member
Fish dog - this topic came up in a college class a few years back. I told my prof That it was all BS and he told me to prove it. I use your post and the citations with some others, to write a 12 page paper explaining how it was BS and did a PowerPoint to the class the same day the paper was due. Let's just say the prof never brought it up again.


Active Member
Yes and the best part, he was also my academic advisor/senior professor of my department. I think I had to take another 4-5 classes from him before I graduated. Within my major I had a 3.75 gpa. He just knew that I would go against the main stream and provide a logical scientifically based argument before I would correct any misinformation he was spouting. It was great when we talked about "underprivileged" Americans and why they stay in poverty.

All in all he is a good guy and will listen if you present information and have the ability to backup what you are saying, I just made him hold to the same standard.

fish dog

Well-Known Member
Sloth said:
Fish dog - this topic came up in a college class a few years back. I told my prof That it was all BS and he told me to prove it. I use your post and the citations with some others, to write a 12 page paper explaining how it was BS and did a PowerPoint to the class the same day the paper was due. Let's just say the prof never brought it up again.
Sweet! And thanks. Makes me feel all that research and typing I did on this was worth it.


Well-Known Member
Most of this is common sense. I bring this up in my classes and have the students research it. Just wish the people in in charge did the same.


One life don't BLOW IT!
There's also a condor lead sturdy report that said even with 90% compliance the bird is still getting lead. But hears the kicker they delayed the report until after the signing into law. Fuckers

We are getting raked over.......the MLPA is going to look st more closed areas....AGAIN!

And the dog hunting of mammals with a GPS has a pending law suit