Last week, as the National Park Service announced that it would move to phase out the use of lead ammunition in those few national parks that allow hunting. This is good news, and follows California's decision to phase out lead ammunition in California condor habitat, where the ingestion of lead fragments by condors is a particular problem.
The use of non-lead alternative ammunition really shouldn’t be controversial. Lead is a proven toxin, which effects not just condors but other birds, such as eagles, and even bears. The alternatives (mostly copper and copper alloy bullets) are equal to or superior in performance compared to bullets made with lead. Among other things, copper bullets typically retain virtually all of their mass after striking a target—a key metric in assessing ballistic performance.
But don’t take my word for it, check out these impressive videos: