You have seen bald eagles featured in many movies, it is now talk of the topic because the bald eagles are now under threat and now the scientists say the birds are being poisoned by lead. In the United States of America, bald and golden eagles are being continually exposed to one of the country’s biggest and most widespread pollutants.
The researchers and scientists conducted research and they found that 46% of bald eagles and 47% of golden eagles had chronic lead poisoning. And this is the first study of lead poisoning of wildlife at a nationwide scale, and it demonstrates the hard unseen challenges that are facing these birds of prey. However, the effects of lead on birds could be deadly, but the substance also impacts reproduction.
They are poisoned at the hard level which causes the growth rate of these populations to slow for bald eagles by 3.8% and golden eagles by 0.8% per year. The birds come into contact mainly during the winter months when they rely on the dead animals when live prey is very difficult to find. Lead poisoning particularly occurs when an eagle eats lead ammunition fragments that are lodged inside an animal’s corpse. The frequency of chronic lead poisoning found in both species increased with age because lead gathers in the bone as eagles are repeatedly exposed to the heavy metal throughout their lives.
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Furthermore, the signs of lead poisoning in raptors include green-stained tail feathers, a bowed head, and drooping wings. The findings are a new blow for the bald eagle species, which was near extinction by the early 1960s, with just 417 breeding pairs now left across the entire US. In 1972, With the help of widespread protection, the birds began to rebound, and a major impact was the ban on DDT, which is an agricultural pesticide that causes bald eagles’ eggshells to thin so grievously that they struggled to reproduce.
And in 2007, the US government removed the bald eagle from the list of endangered species, and it was a huge conservation species success, there are around 71,400 nesting pairs and more than 316,700 individual birds. However, the evaluations of lead exposure and its impact on eagle populations, have previously been performed in local and regional studies. And the species is again under threat.
This image was captured in 2018, this adult female golden eagle was found dead. The death cause of the eagle was determined to be lead poisoning. Liver lead concentrations were measured at 48 parts per million dry weights, the range for lethal toxicity.
This one bald eagle was admitted to the wild center but it was determined to be poisoned by lead. The bowed head, drooped wings, and green-stained tail feathers are all typical signs of lead poisoning in raptors.