A recently released study has found fewer ducks and geese are dyingbecause of lead poisoning. The finding comes less than a decade aftershotgun shells containing lead pellets were banned. The Great LakesRadio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
A recently released study has found fewer ducks and geese are dying because of lead
poisoning. The finding comes less than a decade after shotgun shells containing lead
pellets were banned. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports.
Shotgun pellets sink to the bottom of waterways where ducks forage. So, ducks can
ingest lead pellets. In 1991 lead shot was banned. Hunters now use non-toxic shot. In
recent years researchers examined thousands of ducks to see if the ban helped. Stephen
Havera is a senior research scientist at the Illinois natural history survey. He says the
study found fewer birds have lead poisoning.
“Our estimate was that about 64-percent of the pellets that would
have been consumed that would have been toxic are non-toxic shot.”
After a century of using lead shot… researchers say the pellets are still in the
environment… but each year they sink deeper in the muck of the wetlands… making it
harder for waterfowl to reach them.
For the GLRC, this is Lester Graham.