Federal Court Revives Lawsuit Over Lead Ammunition Harming California Condors

By Associated Press
Published: Friday, May 31, 2019 - 8:59am
Updated: Friday, May 31, 2019 - 11:01am

A california condor flies after being released in Northern Arizona
George Andrejko/Arizona Game and Fish Department
The Peregrine Fund released four California condors into the wild this year. After nearly going to extinct, there are now 89 in this population in Arizona and Utah.

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit challenging the use of lead ammunition in a northern Arizona forest.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Thursday allows environmental groups to argue for banning the ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest.

Lead poisoning is the leading cause of death for endangered California condors that feed on animal carcasses.

The environmental groups said the Kaibab Forest is not doing enough to regulate spent ammunition. Arizona encourages hunters to use non-lead ammunition but it's not required.

The case now goes back to the U.S. District Court in Arizona where it was first filed in 2012.

The 9th Circuit said the lower court improperly determined that it lacked jurisdiction in dismissing the complaint.

A Kaibab Forest spokesperson declined comment on the ruling.

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