Bonn, May 9: Between 400,000 and 1.5 million waterbirds alone die in Europe annually from ingesting lead and there is a need to phase out lead, a UN body said on Wednesday. The number of additional birds suffering health problems because of poisoning by lead ammunition is at least as large as the number killed by lead shot every year.
World Migratory Bird Day is a two-day event annually held on the second weekend of May. This year’s theme is “Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation”. Among the significant but often underestimated threats to migratory birds across the African-Eurasian Flyways — the major bird migration corridors which links Europe, Africa and Western Asia — is lead poisoning.
The UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), two international environment treaties behind World Migratory Bird Day, are also driving international efforts to tackle this global threat.
Lead poisoning is caused when lead is released into the environment. Lead is a highly toxic heavy metal that is used for both fishing weights and hunting. When fired from a shot gun, hundreds of lead pellets fall into the wider environment putting wildlife at risk. (IANS)