US national symbol bald eagle’s population takes a hit, all thanks to lead poisoning

The national symbol of the US, bald eagle, has been in dire straits nowadays. The population of the bird has been facing slump due to the lead poisoning, said a new study.   

The research carried out by the Department of Public and Ecosystem Health at Cornell University found the population growth of bald eagle has decreased by 4-6%. The observation was based on data gathered between 1990 and 2018.

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“We’re putting eagles out there as a poster species for this issue, but they’re not the only ones being impacted,” Krysten Schuler, research professor, Cornell, said.  

This study also estimated that the rate of growth for bald eagles have been decreased by 4.2% for females and 6.3% for males.  

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These experts examined the populations of the bird in seven Northeast states of the country. They found that some have been affected by hunters as they leave behind contaminated organs after field dressing an animal.   

It affects bald eagles and other animals as when they later feed on the carcass of these animals, they many a time consume lead fragments, which have been left behind in the meat by the hunters.   

(With inputs from agencies)