Bring Back Grizzlies

The Angry Poodle makes some good points on lead in the environment, but misses on facts. The notion that hunters annually deposit 650,000 metric tons of lead in the ground is misleading (pick your own puns). Total U.S. ammunition production uses a tenth of that much lead (~65,000 MT), and only a small portion of that is used by hunters. Similarly the U.S.Geological Survey figure for lead shot pollution applies only to very specific areas where upland bird hunting is prevalent.

The reason the California condor is effectively extinct is not lead scraps in gut piles, but a lack of gut piles. The condor was doomed by the extinction of its commensal partner, the California grizzly bear: no grizzlies, no condors. Lead bullets killing off the brown bear did the deed. Turkey vultures and coyotes are much more efficient at cleaning up dead critter remains in the environment; the condor’s niche is long gone. Get over it, or restore their habitat.

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