Argentina’s Santa Fe Government Reducing Lead Ammunition for Sports Hunters
WCS applauds regulation to limit lead in Argentina’s
NEW YORK (August 31,
2011)—The Wildlife Conservation Society applauds the
government of Santa Fe Province for taking steps to reduce the amount of lead
ammunition used in hunting of waterfowl, the first such action of its kind in
for this year’s hunting season, the regulation requires hunters to reduce
usage of lead shot by 25 percent. The regulation initiates a process that may
lead to the eventual ban of lead shot. Lead is known to cause severe adverse
effects on the health of animals and humans and permanently pollute the environment.
“This is a huge step forward,” said
Dr. Marcela Uhart of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the principal
investigator in a project that is analyzing the impact of lead on native
waterfowl and other wildlife in the Santa
“We commend the government of Santa
Fe for acting on the preliminary results of our study.
This is the first such regulation in the country and, hopefully, it will serve
as a model for other provinces to emulate.”
Dr. Uhart’s project examines the density
of lead ammunition pellets in ducks’ stomachs and wetlands where hunting
occurs. Further, the study examines the damage of lead ammunition to other wildlife
and to human health. So far, the research team has collected blood samples from
24 live ducks and tissue samples from about 300 ducks killed by hunters, as
well as water, vegetation, and soil samples from areas with and without hunting
activity. As expected, preliminary results have shown significant levels of
lead in the gizzards, blood, and bones of tested ducks.
The study is conducted in collaboration
with Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la
Provincia de Buenos Aires, and Universidad Nacional del Sur.
Santa Fe—one of eight provinces in
Argentina where hunting is permitted—is a hotspot for recreational
hunting, where sportsmen from around the world come to hunt waterfowl species
such as the rosy-billed pochard and the fulvous whistling duck. Consequently,
the hunting pressure on the region is high; it is estimated that more than 10
tons of lead are introduced into the ecosystems of Santa Fe every year.
new regulation specifies that hunters must reduce the amount of lead shot
cartridges by 25 percent when hunting rosy-billed pochards, fulvous whistling
ducks, white-faced whistling ducks, and other species. It also enforces
restrictions on the use of lead shot in the hunting of terrestrial bird species
such as the eared dove, shiny cowbird, and chestnut-capped blackbird.
government of Santa Fe
has set an admirable precedent in the reduction of lead ammunition in the
province’s hunting grounds, a move that will benefit the region’s
people and wildlife,” said Dr. Robert Cook, Executive Vice President and
General Director of WCS’s Living Institutions. “We encourage other states
and stakeholders to adopt the same process.”
study was funded by the Morris Animal Foundation.
Stephen Sautner: (1-718-220 3682; firstname.lastname@example.org)
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