Plight of The Condor

KellySorensonThe California Condor may not be the prettiest of endangered species, but that doesn’t make it any less important to the ecosystem. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society, which has been working tirelessly to bring the California Condor back from the brink of extinction, only to encounter another barrier: lead ammunition.  We have known for a long time that lead is a neurotoxin that poses health and safety risks, and we have seen over the past several decades corresponding efforts to remove it from toys, paint, gasoline, and other household items. But lead is still quite commonly found in the ammunition used in hunting, and as a result lead enters into the food chain for animals like the highly endangered California Condor. So why hasn’t lead been removed from ammunition? Two words: gun lobby. Today we talk with Sorenson about how the NRA and the gun lobby have framed the issue as an “anti-hunting agenda,” despite the fact that environmental groups are actually giving away non-lead ammunition to hunters. We hear about how Ventana and other groups have been pushing back, and the resulting legislative victory.