Britain's waterbirds still being killed by lead poisoning, study finds
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust demands review of laws restricting the use of lead in angling weights and ammunition across the UK
A large number of Britain's waterbirds are still being killed by lead poisoning despite the introduction of legislation to prevent the problem, according to a new study.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) found that 10% of dead waterbirds collected between 1971 and 2010 died as a result of the highly-toxic metal. Eight per cent were fatally poisoned between 2000 and 2010, with lead gunshot being the most likely source of poisoning.
The trust argued that laws restricting the use of lead in angling weights and ammunition were not working and called on a review of the legislation – which differs across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lichen kills elk near Wamsutter
A cow elk found dead near Wamsutter last month died from lichen poisoning, prompting state wildlife officials to warn hunters this fall not to shoot elk that appear weak or paralyzed.
Lichen poisoning causes elk to be paralyzed, and they typically die of starvation or predation. Officials do not know what in the lichen causes paralysis in elk, according to a media release.
In addition, officials do not know the possible health effects on humans if infected meat is eaten, said Daryl Lutz, Lander regional wildlife supervisor for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
... Lichen poisoning has been a problem in Wyoming elk in the last decade. More than 500 elk died from lichen in the winters of 2004 and 2008.
September's case of elk lichen poisoning occurred earlier in the year than past ones, which may be because of dry conditions and lack of food, Lutz said.
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