Discussion Topic: The Latest On The Ongoing Lead-Ban Debate
First, from the Billings Gazette: _Rob Domenech and his research associates didn’t know what they were looking for when they...
First, from the Billings Gazette:
_Rob Domenech and his research associates didn’t know what they were looking for when they started testing the blood of golden eagles along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front three years ago.
_What they found was lead. In some cases, lots of it. . . .
_Domenech, executive director of Raptor View Research Institute, was one of hundreds of people to send comments to the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission in what has become a controversial proposal to ban lead shot on state-owned wildlife management areas.
_The commission meets in Helena Thursday to consider on the idea. . . .
_Gary Marbut, executive director of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, said that the agency made no scientific case in favor of the ban and that hunters and gun owners have reason to be suspicious of such proposals.
Most who have written in agree with Marbut.
“There are people who would like to use a lead ban as a way to end hunting and as a way to end the right to bear arms,” he said.
Domenech was also quoted in a recent article entitled, “Get The Lead Out,” posted on The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. Here’s an excerpt:
_”We are seeing some very acute cases of lead poisoning in Bald Eagles,” says Kay Neumann, wildlife rehabilitator and executive director of Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR). “The eagles are experiencing respiratory distress, they’re puking green, they’re defecating green,” she says.
_Neumann’s research in Iowa points to the same conclusion as a growing number of studies around the world: fragments of lead from rifle bullets in big-game carcasses pose threats to scavenging birds–and quite likely to humans as well. . . .
_Studies on deer carcasses have shown that lead-core bullets fragment much more than most researchers previously realized. Discarded deer entrails (“gut piles”) and rifle-killed carcasses that hunters are unable to find often contain hundreds of tiny, soft lead fragments.
“I never realized how much lead-core bullets fragment,” says Golden Eagle researcher Rob Domenech. “If the majority of avian researchers didn’t realize this, it’s no surprise that hunters and the general public don’t either.”
Nobody wants to poison raptors, but there’s no denying that some science can be politically motivated. Is this one of those cases?