FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The state Game and Fish Department says endangered California condors are having a rough time lately.
Condor biologist Allen Zufelt says seven condors that travel in northern Arizona and southern Utah have died since September, including breeding females.
Zufelt says three of the birds died of lead poisoning and one died of unknown causes. Another condor that fell into a crack at the Grand Canyon hasn’t been recovered.
Zufelt says lab results are pending in two more deaths.
The department still is looking into an unconfirmed death in the Grand Canyon.
Environmental groups say the deaths could be prevented with a ban on lead ammunition.
Game and Fish officials say that’s unnecessary because most hunters voluntarily use non-lead ammunition, and poisoning isn’t the sole cause of condor deaths.