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Vancouver Island eagles died from lead poisoning: report


Bald eagles feed on a feast of halibut fish heads in Old Masset.
Bald eagles feed on a feast of halibut fish heads in Old Masset.
Photo Credit: David Gray, Calgary Herald

PORT ALBERNI, B.C. — Two Vancouver Island eagles that died last spring were killed by ingesting lead — possibly from eating fishing jigs or discarded lead shot, toxicology reports show.

The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre recently received toxicology reports on two eagles submitted for testing in March 2009. The two eagles from the Parksville and Qualicum Beach were severely emaciated and had no fractures or visible hemorrhaging.


Just one or two ingested lead pellets can kill a bird, and it usually takes only 10 days from ingestion until a bird displays visible symptoms of lead poisoning being displayed. How long the lead takes to kill the bird depends on a number of factors, but it's usually a matter of three weeks to six weeks.

Canada banned lead shots in the mid-1990s.


Tag: eagles wildlife

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