Posted: January 23, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

Earth First! Newswire

Poisoning from spent bullets undermines effort to recover North America’s largest flying animal.

By Brian Maffly| The Salt Lake Tribune

The female of Utah’s only breeding pair of California condors was found dead Wednesday in Zion National Park, setting back the 20-year effort to pull this massive winged scavenger from the brink of extinction.

Members of The Peregrine Fund, a bird conservation group that tracks condors in Utah and Arizona, recovered the bird, known as Condor 343, near Angels Landing, and sent it to a San Diego lab to determine whether lead poisoning played a role. California condors can live up to 60 years; Condor 343 was 9 years old.

In past years, nesting efforts in Utah failed because lead exposure sickened either 343 or its mate, Condor 299, during breeding season, which overlaps hunting season, according to Chris Parish, Peregrine’s condor field project supervisor.

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