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DEC Seeks Hunters for Study of Non-Lead Ammo on NY Eagle Conservation Efforts

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State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the DEC is seeking hunters to participate in a multi-year study of non-lead ammunition impacts on New York’s eagle conservation efforts.


The DEC is partnering with multiple agencies including the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University on the study to determine the reduction in bald and golden eagle deaths achieved by increased use of non-lead ammunition for deer hunting. Eagles can ingest lead bullet fragments when scavenging remains left behind by a hunter. While the bald eagle population is doing well in New York, research shows lead-related mortality has slowed population growth. The population of golden eagles in the Eastern US is relatively stable, though also vulnerable to a potential population decline due to lead poisoning.

This multi-year study seeks to determine whether this source of mortality can be reduced by increasing the proportions of hunters using non-lead ammunition. The first year of the endeavor will go into place during the 2023-24 hunting season.

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