This piece is the first in a series of paintings created to educate the public on important conservation issues facing wildlife today.
Lead is one of the main causes of the near extinction of the California condor. Lead continues to be used in rifle ammunition by hunters for deer and elk.
Lead bullets travel far and fragment within the carcass' body, leaving very small lead fragments that cannot be detected (by humans or wildlife upon ingesting).
Hunters leave the gut piles of their kill in the wild and many other types of birds and other wildlife, including eagles and vultures, feed on these gut piles.
Just 2 tiny fragments of lead (as small as pieces of rice) is enough to KILL AN EAGLE.
LEAD IS A KNOWN TOXIN, to humans and wildlife.
It has been banned in California, but continues to be legal in many places in North America.
This piece holds special meaning to me for a few reasons:
First, I lived on the California coast for many years and have been lucky enough to have seen condors, in the wild, on a few occasions. They are absolutely majestic and they also have curious and fun loving personalities.
In addition, as a park ranger, I give programs on topics within avian conservation and I speak about this very issue to the public in the park. It is one which I'm very passionate about.
Finally, to personalize this piece even further, I assigned the condor, the number 27, as the real Condor # 27 was a female condor who died from lead poisoning in December, 2009. My birthday is Sept. 27.
My hope is that you pass this information along, so others can be informed as well.
For more information, see below links: