This summer, California will begin phasing in a statewide ban on hunting with lead bullets, a regulation intended to protect the condors from ingesting toxic lead.

The ban on lead ammunition is intended to be in full effect by July 1, 2019.

To prevent condors from ingesting lead bullets, California will be soon be illegal to hunt with lead bullets, the most common type of ammunition currently used by hunters.

This year, under the law, anyone hunting on land managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will be required to use non-lead ammunition. Also, bighorn sheep hunter will be required to forgo lead bullets.

Studies have found that fragments of slugs harm the endangered California condors and other wildlife. The lead bullets are the biggest hurdle to the full recovery of the condors, according to the National Park Service.

Animals are poisoned by lead fragments when they eat the carcass of an animal felled by a lead bullet. Scavengers who are known to be harmed by lead in carcasses include golden eagles, hawks, ravens, turkey vultures and grizzly bears.

In fact, humans are also at risk. One study found hat when a person eats an animal killed by a lead bullet, they two can be harmed by bullet fragments in the meat.

This link offers information on non-lead ammunition alternatives.