Center for Biological Diversity

Help Stop Lead Poisoning of Loons, Swans and Waterfowl

Beaufort Sea in Spring
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is evaluating a legal petition submitted last month by the Center for Biological Diversity and other conservation groups to protect wildlife from toxic lead exposure by banning lead in fishing tackle.

An estimated 4,000 tons of toxic lead fishing tackle are lost in aquatic environments in this country each year. Lead fishing weights that sink to the bottom of ponds or streams are often mistaken for food or grit and ingested by swans, ducks, geese, loons and other water birds. Lead-poisoned waterfowl suffer painful deaths or can develop long-term health problems such as damage to reproduction, growth and neurological development; common loons, trumpeter and whooper swans, sandhill cranes, Canada geese and mallards are particularly at risk.

The EPA will make a ruling soon on our petition to regulate lead fishing tackle. Please help us get the lead out for loons, swans and other waterfowl -- send a message to the EPA today supporting regulations to ban lead fishing tackle.

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Please submit comments by September 15, 2010.

Common loon photo courtesy Flickr Commons/Rick Leche.

In the most significant initiative to prevent lead poisoning of wildlife in more than two decades, the Center for Biological Diversity, American Bird Conservancy, Association of Avian Veterinarians, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and Project Gutpile (a hunters' group) submitted a legal petition in August to ban toxic lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle. Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied the portion of our petition dealing with lead bullets and shot, claiming the agency does not have the authority to regulate toxic lead-based ammunition, our campaign to get toxic lead out of the food chain continues.

View photos and videos documenting the effects of poisoning from lead ammunition and fishing sinkers on wildlife here:

Read more about our Get The Lead Out campaign at