Save the Bald Eagle from Extinction
1,513 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site
Lead poisoning from fishing and hunting gear, like bullets and fishing weights, is putting Eagles at risk of extinction. Take action and protect these magnificent creatures!
The bald eagle, a symbol of strength and freedom for Americans, is facing a new and dangerous threat in the state of Michigan1. Once near extinction, the population of these magnificent birds has slowly recovered, but their numbers are now declining again, this time due to lead poisoning caused by fishing and hunting gear2.
Lead fishing weights and bullets used by hunters are a significant source of lead exposure for eagles. The birds can ingest lead by consuming the remains of animals that have been shot or the small pieces of fishing gear that have been left behind3. This can cause serious health problems for the eagles, including weakened immune systems, decreased reproductive success, and death4.
Conservation campaigns encourage hunters and anglers to switch to non-toxic alternatives to lead gear, such as tungsten, bismuth, or steel5. These alternatives are just as effective as lead but are much safer for wildlife and the environment.
Individuals can also play a role in helping to protect eagles from lead poisoning. Simple actions such as properly disposing of fishing line and weights, choosing non-toxic gear, and participating in local cleanup efforts can help reduce the amount of lead that eagles are exposed to.
Furthermore, residents can help monitor the health of the local eagle population by reporting sick or dead birds to the appropriate authorities. By working together, we can help ensure that eagles remain a healthy and thriving part of our wildlife for generations to come.
Bald eagles are an iconic symbol of freedom and power, and have made a remarkable recovery from the brink of extinction6. However, these magnificent birds still face threats from human activities, including lead poisoning. Lead from fishing weights and hunting gear is one of the leading causes of death among eagles, and it's up to all of us to help prevent this unnecessary harm.
Sign the pledge to save Bald Eagles from extinction and help us make a difference!
- Emily Bingham, MLive (1 February 2023), "Michigan bald eagles are dying of lead poisoning. The reason may surprise you."
- Maria Cramer, The New York Times (19 February 2022), "After Mounting a Comeback, Eagles Face a New Threat."
- Gupta, Shivani R. DO; Mezoff, Ethan MD; Dienhart, Molly MD, Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (August 2021), "Lead Toxicity From a Swallowed Fishing Sinker: A Case Report."
- Liz Kimbrough, Mongabay (18 February 2022), "A shot to the gut: American eagles poisoned by lead from bullets."
- Drew YoungeDyke, The National Wildlife Federation (1 December 2019), "Letting Go of Lead."
- Bill O'Brian, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, "Eagles Across America."
I understand that bald eagle populations are now declining again, this time due to lead poisoning caused by fishing and hunting gear.
As such, I pledge to take the following actions to help save eagles from lead poisoning:
- Use non-toxic fishing gear
I pledge to switch to using non-toxic fishing gear like steel or tungsten weights, and avoid using lead.
- Support organizations that advocate for lead-free hunting gear
I pledge to support organizations that work to promote the use of lead-free ammunition and fishing tackle.
- Educate others
I pledge to share information about the dangers of lead poisoning with my friends, family, and hunting and fishing groups.
- Report sick or dead eagles
If I find a sick or dead eagle, I will report it to the appropriate wildlife rehabilitation center or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Support eagle rehabilitation centers
I pledge to consider making a financial contribution to local wildlife rehabilitation centers that care for sick and injured eagles.
- Practice responsible hunting
I pledge to follow proper disposal methods for your hunting gear and make sure to clean up any spent ammunition.
- Avoid feeding eagles
I pledge to never feed eagles, which can lead to the birds becoming habituated to humans, increasing their risk of lead poisoning.
- Recycle old fishing gear
I pledge to participate in fishing gear recycling programs, which help keep lead fishing weights out of the environment and away from eagles.
- Participate in conservation efforts
I pledge to join local conservation groups and participate in their efforts to protect and conserve eagle populations.
- Speak out
I pledge to use my voice to raise awareness about the dangers of lead poisoning and advocate for the use of non-toxic alternatives.
By working together, we can help ensure that eagles remain a healthy and thriving part of our wildlife for generations to come.