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A mature Bald Eagle sitting in a tree by Christine Bogdanowicz

A bald eagle surprised fellow travelers as it was spotted being taken through a TSA checkpoint at a U.S. airport. Cornell's Dr. Krysten Schuler, who led a study showing bald eagles' population size is being threatened by lead poisoning, comments, "Even though the population seems like it's recovered, some perturbation could come along that could cause eagles to decline again."
Wildlife biologist shown in a lab with vertebrate bones on shelves.

The effects of lead poisoning can vary depending on exposure, but they’re often devastating. Cornell wildlife ecologist Dr. Krysten Schuler notes that lead impacts every system in the body and that while eagles have been carefully studied, it’s likely that other animals are affected by lead poisoning too.
A Bald Eagle shown eating at a deer carcass

The bald eagle’s comeback is one of America’s most famous conservation success stories. But despite the boom in their numbers, bald eagles still face many threats, including poisoning from ingesting lead bullets.
Elizabeth Bunting at her desk by Ryan Young-Cornell University

The New York State Wildlife Health Program is a key partnership between Cornell and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The program coordinates responses when disease strikes New York’s wild animals and it helps prevent outbreaks, in domestic animals and people too, by translating data into policy.
Two Bald Eagles shown at their nest

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Long before I was aware of the problem, professionals of veterinary medicine and pathology treated, rehabilitated, or necropsied ill, dying, or dead bald eagles. The wild birds had been presented for care after they ingested lead fragments from spent ammunition....
A rhinoceros shown walking by Joel Jerzog/Unsplash

The Cornell Wildlife Health Center continues to enhance synergy among many of Cornell’s wildlife-focused programs, expand student learning opportunities, and capitalize on earnest interdisciplinary approaches to addressing key wildlife conservation and related public health challenges.
A Bald Eagle shown eating at a deer carcass

The bald eagle population has slowly recovered from the impact of a pesticide that nearly drove them to extinction decades ago. But now researchers at Cornell University have found that lead ammunition continues to hamper the resilience of these American icons.
A Bald Eagle in flight

As the number of American bald eagles has continued to soar in recent years, Cornell researchers are now warning the species’ reemergence is being threatened by lead poisoning from gun ammunition. 
Bald Eagle radiograph from Avian Haven

Bald eagle populations have slowly recovered from near devastation after the government banned DDT in 1972, but another ongoing issue has weakened that rebound – lead poisoning from gunshot ammunition.
A Bald Eagle shown eating at a deer carcass

For Your Information

Bald eagles are considered a recovery success in the U.S. after rebounding from near extirpation due to widespread use of DDT. Although abundances of bald eagles have increased since DDT was banned, other contaminants have remained in the environment with unknown influence on eagle population trends.