The greatest threats to wild eagle populations are human made. With no natural predators, interactions with humans are the most dangerous threat eagles face. Collisions with cars or electrical lines cause injury to many eagles. Still more dangerous is lead they may encounter in the environment as a result of human recreational activities like hunting and fishing.
Lead is extremely dangerous for eagles because of their powerful digestive system. If an eagle ingests even a tiny fragment of lead, powerful stomach acids will break down the lead, and it will be released into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream lead damages the nervous system and organs leading to motor control problems and ultimately organ failure. The impact on the nervous system and motor control can also be the cause of other injuries an eagle might suffer such as collisions with cars or power lines. Even a tiny amount of lead is lethal to an eagle within days. To help protect eagles and other wildlife, consider switching to lead-free fishing tackle and ammunition.
This brief video shows the devastating affects of lead poisoning in eagles. Thanks to SOAR for all their work.