Another release from the American Bird Conservancy (you can guess which side they’re on] states that, “There have been 276 documented cases of lead poisoning of California Condors since 2000, and a dozen deaths possibly linked to lead.” Note that it says, “a dozen deaths possibly linked to lead.” Nowhere does it mention anything about these deaths being attributed to condors ingesting lead bullets or bullet fragments.
If somebody can show me the forensic proof that lead bullets are killing condors, I’ll gladly move on but these kinds of fuzzy inferences have succeeded in doing nothing but keep hunters locked out of condor inhabited areas. I’ll be curious to see just how detailed the California Fish & Game department is going to be in delineating condor areas for hunters. According to their Web site, they’re talking about an area from “the Central Coast Range from Alameda Co. south to Los Angeles Co.” That’s a mighty big piece of real estate. And with a $5,000 fine a possibility should you be caught in the wrong territory, who’s going to risk it?