New York State
Ornithological Association

For the birders and birds of the Empire State

ConservationPosted 4/28/10
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NYSOA Council of Delegates Passes Lead Ammunition Resolution
Andy Mason, NYSOA Conservation Chair
Published in the October 2010 issue of NY Birders

On October 23 at the 2010 Annual Meeting, NYSOA delegates passed a resolution calling on the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation to "create and disseminate educational information for hunters emphasizing the threat to wildlife from lead ammunition . . ." The resolution also calls on the state legislature to "enact laws banning the use of lead hunting ammunition in the state for those hunting activities where proven effective non-toxic alternatives are readily available", should educational efforts fall short in reducing impacts. (The full text of the resolution is available on the NYSOA web site: www.nybirds.org).

As outlined in the April 2010 issue of NY Birders, ingestion of spent lead ammunition is a serious danger to birds. Species including doves, pigeons, loons and other waterfowl, as well as eagles and other scavengers, have been documented as dying from lead poisoning from ammunition. Non-toxic alternatives exist for most types of ammunition, and are required for some uses, including waterfowl hunting.

Also at the meeting, John and Karen Confer and students presented a paper on the serious effects of lead ammunition on California Condors at the reintroduction site near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It appeared this effort was doomed until a program to provide hunters with non-toxic ammunition was put in place. This has significantly reduced condor poisoning and increased the reintroduction success.

The NYSOA resolution will be sent to decision makers in DEC and the legislature, among others. You can help by letting your legislator know about this serious matter and providing them with a copy of the resolution.

Read Andy's earlier article about lead ammunition, published in the April 2010 issue of NY Birders

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