California Condor to Benefit from State’s First Voluntary Discontinuance of Lead Ammunition

Tejon Ranch Company joined with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Audubon California to further protect the California Condor by announcing it would discontinue the use of lead hunting ammunition on Tejon Ranch, the 270,000-acre privately-owned ranch in California’s Tehachapi Mountains that is home to the state’s largest private hunting program.

While tremendous progress has been made in bringing the California Condor back from the brink of extinction, poisoning from lead ammunition is regarded as the single greatest threat to the continued recovery of the species. Lead ammunition poses a threat to the condors when the birds eat carrion containing the bullet fragments. This move by Tejon Ranch is the latest effort by the Ranch to help protect the condor, which has historically used portions of Tejon Ranch for foraging and roosting.

Effective with the 2008 hunting season, only non-lead ammunition will be allowed on Tejon Ranch, making it the first major private wildlife management program in the state to voluntarily require the use of non-lead ammunition. It covers all lead ammunition used in hunting. Tejon Ranch Company worked closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish & Game, Audubon California and several hunting and environmental organizations to design the new regulation.

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