As some may be aware lead ammo was banned in 2008 in some areas of California where condors were being released. It was said that lead used by hunters and left in dead animals was being eaten by the birds and was causing their numbers to fall.
There is an interesting article in the science journal "Nature" this week calling for further restrictions on the use of lead in ammo. The text reports that studies have found no differences in lead levels in condors before and after the ban, asserts that research has shown that the lead in condors is entirely due to ammunition and calls for further restrictions on hunters. What it does not consider, and what would seem obvious to me as a casual observer, is that if the levels of lead in condors have not changed since the ban on lead in ammo then, just maybe and despite how un-PC it might be to say it, perhaps lead in ammo is not actually where the condors are getting their lead from. It also at no point ever says that any condor has ever died from lead poisoning, only that lead has been detected in them.
The interesting thing is that the very same journal reported, just a few weeks back, that wind turbines at wind farms were killing condors and other rare birds on a regular basis - chopped up bodies were found below the turbines so there was no argument about the circumstances. In this case it was determined that maybe in future more care could be taken when it comes to positioning turbines, but there were no calls for banning or stopping the turbines even with the bodies lying at their base.
It is interesting to reflect on these two positions, and to consider the motivations behind them especially when listening to the outpourings of environmentalists who claim that the "science" supports their position. It would seem in this case that there is an acceptable way to kill condors, and a scapegoat who is going to get blamed for killing condors even though he no longer uses the lead ammo that was said to be the problem.