SACRAMENTO – It will be illegal for hunters to possess or fire lead ammunition when they are in California condor habitat under regulations adopted Friday by a state commission. By a vote of 3-1, the California Fish and Game Commission expanded the state’s lead ammunition ban in an effort to safeguard North America’s largest flying bird. “It’s pretty clear lead poisoning is one of the major factors preventing recovery of the species,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s another step in getting lead out of the food chain.” The condor was once found from coast to coast, but hunting, pesticides and development drove the birds to the brink of extinction. The federal government declared the bird endangered in 1967. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champScientists for years have said condors are poisoned when they ingest lead while feeding on the bullet-ridden carcasses of other animals. But regulators have been slow to act. Earlier this summer, commissioner R. Judd Hanna said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration asked him to resign after he clashed with the National Rifle Association over pending condor protections. The regulation will take effect July 1, 2008.