Non-lead ammunition is ammunition that has no lead components included in the manufacturing process.
- When an animal is shot with a non-lead bullet, there is no possibility that lead from that bullet will hurt the scavengers that will eat upon that animal.
- When a scavenger eats the lead fragments from a bullet, especially hawks and other raptors, they can easily get lead poisoning and die.
- The negative effects of lead have been documented for decades, but it wasn’t until the AZGFD started reintroducing condors into northern Arizona that we were able to see the extent at which lead poisoning occurred.
- Because of the amount of tracking on condors, we are able to study them at a deeper level than other Arizona species. From this, we discovered that lead ammunition was a huge factor in their survival; about 50% of the known cause of death in condors is lead poisoning. This helped us then look into other species and see a pattern.