Lead poisoning of raptors: State of the science and cross-discipline mitigation options for a global problem

Biological Conservation
By: , and 



Lead poisoning is an important global conservation problem for many species of wildlife, especially raptors. Despite the increasing number of individual studies and regional reviews of lead poisoning of raptors, it has been over a decade since this information has been compiled into a comprehensive global review. Here, we summarize the state of knowledge of lead poisoning of raptors, we review developments in manufacturing of non-lead ammunition, the use of which can reduce the most pervasive source of lead these birds encounter, and we compile data on voluntary and regulatory mitigation options and their associated sociological context. We support our literature review with case studies of mitigation actions, largely provided by the conservation practitioners who study or manage these efforts. Our review illustrates the growing awareness and understanding of lead exposure of raptors, and it shows that the science underpinning this understanding has expanded considerably in recent years. We also show that the political and social appetite for managing lead ammunition appears to vary substantially across administrative regions, countries, and continents. Improved understanding of the drivers of this variation could support more effective mitigation of lead exposure of wildlife. This review also shows that mitigation strategies are likely to be most effective when they are outcome driven, consider behavioural theory, local cultures, and environmental conditions, effectively monitor participation, compliance, and levels of raptor exposure, and support both environmental and human health.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lead poisoning of raptors: State of the science and cross-discipline mitigation options for a global problem
Series title Biological Conservation
DOI 10.1111/brv.13087
Edition Online First
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
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