Lead Contamination in Wildlife

Eight years of monitoring blood levels in Jackson Hole’s Ravens and Bald Eagles revealed a link between the hunting season and harmful blood lead levels in these birds. By educating hunters and supplying them with non-lead ammunition, we found that a decreased use of lead ammunition correlated with a decrease in blood lead levels in eagles during the 2009 and 2010 hunting seasons.  Following our ecological studies, we are continuing this project with a large educational campaign for the hunting community. It is our hope that individuals will learn about this issue and voluntarily choose to use non-lead ammunition, locally and nationally.

Publications and Data

Lead Exposure in Bald Eagles from Big Game Hunting, the Continental Implications and Successful Mitigation Efforts. 2012. Bryan Bedrosian*, Derek Craighead, Ross Crandall. PLoS One. 7: e51978

A relationship between blood lead levels of Common Ravens and the hunting season in the Southern Yellowstone Ecosystem. In R.T. Watson, M. Fuller, M. Pokras, and. W.G. Hunt. (Eds).Craighead, D. and B. Bedrosian. 2009.Ingestion of Lead From Spent Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans. The Peregrine Fund. Boise, ID, USA.

Difference in blood lead levels detections techniques: Analysis among and between three techniques and four avian species. R.T. Watson, M. Fuller, M. Pokras, and. W.G. Hunt. (Eds). Bedrosian, B., C. Parish, and D. Craighead. 2009. Ingestion of Lead From Spent Ammunition: Implications for Wildlife and Humans. The Peregrine Fund. Boise, ID, USA.

Blood lead levels of Common Ravens with access to big-game offal. 2008. Craighead, D. and B. Bedrosian.Journal of Wildlife Management. 72:240-245.

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