Other Research & Information
SOAR tries to keep current on research being conducted by federal and other state's wildlife agencies, as well as research from universities, agencies, and individuals. Some research and information is summarized below with links to the source as available.
Research & Studies
Abstract: Proposals to end the use of lead hunting ammunition because of the established risks of lead exposure to wildlife and humans are impeded by concerns about the availability, price, and effectiveness of substitutes. The product availability and retail prices of different calibers of lead-free bullets and center-fire rifle ammunition were assessed for ammunition sold in the USA and Europe. Lead-free bullets are made in 35 calibers and 51 rifle cartridge designations. Thirty-seven companies distribute internationally ammunition made with lead-free bullets. There is no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers. Lead-free ammunition has set bench-mark standards for accuracy, lethality, and safety. Given the demonstrated wide product availability, comparable prices, and the effectiveness of high-quality lead-free ammunition, it is possible to phase out the use of lead hunting ammunition world-wide, based on progressive policy and enforceable legislation.
Lead from spent ammunition: a source of exposure and poisoning in bald eagles
Researcher from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center and the University of Calgary conducted a case-control study of 1,277 bald eagles admitted to TRC between January 1996 and December 2009. The study sought to determine whether epidemiological data would support the hypothesis that a possible source of lead exposure for bald eagles was lead-based ammunition used for deer hunting. Statistical evidence relates spent lead from ammunition to lead exposure and poisoning in eagles. Also, the study shows an association between eagles with elevated lead levels and deer hunting season.
- Read the study report in the journal, Human Wildlife Interactions Spring 2012 issue (461 KB PDF)
The Non-lead Hunter
This video is produced by a Southern California hunter. Please note this video is 23 minutes long, but well worth it!
Fragmentation of lead ammunition in hunter shot game is a source of concern for hunters like Anthony Prieto. Lead is toxic to all living things and when left behind in the gutpiles of field-dressed animals, it remains as a source of toxicity for scavenger wildlife like eagles, ravens, and condors. In this video, Anthony takes us on two hunts, one where lead ammunition is used and another with a copper bullet. Both carcases are radiographed in the field and we get to see why lead ammunition is such an issue. Produced by Anthony Prieto for hunter awareness on the issue of lead ammunition. Also available in Spanish.
Check out this website for a compilation of non-lead ammunition videos!
Ingestion of Spent Lead Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans (The Peregrine Fund)
In 2008 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conducted the first-of-its-kind lead fragmentation study to simulate how different types of bullets commonly used for deer hunting might fragment.
Minnesota DNR Fish & Wildlife Division staff designed the study using firearms and ammunition commonly used by Minnesota deer hunters. The results are not exhaustive but they do show that all bullets fragment, some more than others, and make it clear that lead fragments travel much farther than expected. On this site, you can download both a summary and the research report.
Check out the golden eagle research being conducted near Missoula, Montana by this non-profit.
A July 2008 article summarizes research by the U.S. Geologic Survey researchers, Drs. Barnett Rattner and Chris Franson.
Potential Hazard to Human Health from Exposure to Fragments of Lead Bullets and Shot in the Tissues of Game Animals
This 2010 UK published study x-rayed wild-shot game birds to determine the number of shot and shot fragments present, and cooked the game using typical methods. Shot were then removed to simulate realistic practice before consumption, and lead concentrations determined.
This 2006 paper was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin Vol. 34, No. 1 pp. 167–170.
CDC lowers lead poisoning guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has accepted the recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention to cut in half the definition for lead poisoning in children.
This panel voted on 4 January to make recommendation to the Centers for Disease Control to lower the definition of lead poisoning for children from 10 µg/dL to 5 µg/dL.
- Read more about the ACCLPP.
- New fact sheet: Blood Lead Levels in Children - Important Information for Parents (168 KB PDF)
This website discusses potential impacts of lead on wildlife and has many useful links.
What started as an Eagle Scout project...check it out!
Documents and information about hunting in the California Condor range, including lead levels in condors in 2008 and 2009.
Lead Poisoning in Wild Birds (1,376 KB PDF)
A U.S. Geologic Survey flyer about lead ammunition and hunting.
This Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative provides information about lead and birds.
United Kingdom Food Standards Agency - Advice to frequent eaters of game shot with lead
The advisory includes link to a risk assessment.
Worldwide lead ammunition and fishing tackle regulations (117 KB PDF)**
Current U.S. Regulations Relevant to Lead and Non-toxics for Hunting, Shooting, and Fishing (25 KB PDF)**
Species Documented as Ingesting or Poisoned by Lead Shot (18 KB PDF)**
** = These listings were compiled for SOAR in 2010.
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