Pesticide banned for decades is harming California condors
Scientists have unraveled a mystery about why rare condors in the coastal redwood forests of central California are having problems reproducing. The culprit appears to be the long-ago banned pesticide DDT that lingers in our environment.
The condors that scavenge on dead carcasses are getting DDT from the tissue of their food sources, the scientists say.
Kelly Sorenson, executive director of Ventana Wildlife Society and a co-author of a new study on condors told the AP Press in an exclusive interview: “In science, rarely is anything definitive but we’ve established a strong link between ... DDT and eggshell thinning in California condors.”
Namibia: Conservationists Act on Mass Vulture Poisoning
The poisoning of hundreds of vultures last month in the Zambezi Region has prompted private and government conservationists to push through an urgent protocol in dealing with and avoiding such incidents in future.
Part of this protocol would be calling a convention of conservation authorities from SADC to establish regional co-ordinated legislation to ban over-the-counter and off-the-shelf poisons and pesticides.
"Deliberate and unintentional use of poisons are the single biggest killer of vultures. To have the legislation will be a big step in attempting to recover the numbers of this important bird, which Africa cannot live without," Holger Kolberg, principal conservation scientist in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), told The Namibian on Wednesday.
The Zambezi Region incident (in the Bwabwata National Park) was more far-reaching than previously reported. While an estimated 500 birds (mostly vultures, but also other carrion species) were discovered in proximity of the carcass of a suspected poached elephant that had been laced with what is believed to be a pesticide, hundreds of other birds are also believed to have died elsewhere, especially since it is the breeding season.
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