We used rates of ingested shot and elevated blood-lead levels (≥0.18 ppm) to estimate the proportion of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) exposed to lead on 3 study areas in Manitoba, Minnesota, and Missouri. Lead exposure was prevalent on all areas and was common after the hunting season closed, when up to 15% of geese could have been exposed to lead shot. However, the proportion of steel shot ingested by geese has increased during the past 2 decades. We suggest that lead exposure is still a source of indirect hunting mortality in Canada geese but project that the prevalence of lead exposure in the Eastern Prairie Population and other waterfowl populations will decrease as nontoxic shot regulations persist and hunters use steel or other nontoxic shot.
Additional Publication Details
Seasonal ingestion of toxic and nontoxic shot by Canada geese