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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lead Poisoning Threatens Loons

Lead fishing tackle is threatening common loons and other birds in northern Wisconsin (and probably elsewhere as well) according to a report by Kathrine Ott of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

A single lead sinker has the potential to poison or kill a loon or other birds. Alternatives exist, such as tin, bismuth, steel, tungsten or ceramic. These are non-toxic and should replace lead in tackle boxes.

”Get the lead out” – a campaign sponsored by Loon Watch at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute (and others) is now in its fourth year. The campaign exists not only in Wisconsin but also in neighbouring states and in Canada.

A recent study shows that 5 out of 11 loons had poisonous levels of lead in their gastrointestinal system and tissue.