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Despite dramatic population recovery, bald eagles continue to be sickened and die from lead poisoning. Death and illness rates are comparable to rates seen prior to the 1991 ban on lead shot used in waterfowl hunting. Ongoing lead poisoning problems suggests that waterfowl may not be the primary source of poisoning in bald eagles. Other factors, such as consumption of other prey killed with lead shot or environmental contamination, may be contributing to lead toxicity deaths in these birds. Researchers will analyze multiple data sources of mortality statistics as it relates to lead, different life stage survival rates, and reproduction of bald eagles. This new information will be used to help inform policy and public communication about lead exposure in bald eagles and other wildlife.

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Cornell University
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United States
Krysten L.Schuler , MSc, PhD
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