These and other groups, including several western states, are urging hunters and fishers to stop using lead in their bullets and their sinkers.
Since the 1980s, wildlife managers have asked hunters and fishers to switch to non-lead materials because sometimes shot birds or animals are not retrievable and so their bodies are scavaged by other wildlife which then suffer lead poisoning and frequently die.
Since the 1980s, there has been a push to remove lead from paint, gasoline and plumbing. And now lead is being added to that list. When scavaging, birds and mammals eat the remains of carcasses shot with lead ammunition, tiny fragments of lead can be ingested and then absorbed into their blood stream, often causing long term side effects and sometimes even death. Non-lead ammo, such as high performance solid copper bullets, help prevent lead poisoning in scavengers like bald and golden eagles and other birds of prey.
Conservationists point to voluntary lead-reduction programs in Arizona and Utah as being very successful. They say they want to see these voluntary efforts expanded across North America, and hope that more hunters and organizations will join the movement.