Lead poisoning of raptors is an ongoing and pervasive global conservation concern with potentially significant impacts for some species and populations. This Conservation Letter provides a scientific review of raptor lead poisoning globally and concludes by highlighting lessons learned and potential solutions. This letter is not intended as an exhaustive literature review. Rather, the intent of the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF) is to provide readers with enough evidence-based examples that they can appreciate the scope and prevalence of lead poisoning, understand the potential effects on raptor species and populations, and gain a basic understanding of the challenges associated with addressing lead poisoning of raptors across regions.

Lead is a nonessential metal that has a variety of uses in modern society including ammunition, fuel additives, and storage batteries. The same properties that make lead useful for anthropogenic applications worldwide—resistance to corrosion and low...

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