California condors numbers pass the 400 mark for the first time for 100 years

  • 177
    Shares


(c) toryaardvark.com

226 free flying condors May 2012. California condor numbers have crept above 400 for the first time since they teetered on the verge of extinction.

Californian Condor (c) oregonlive.com

There are currently 226 wild flying condors, 125 in California, 80 in Arizona and a small population of 21 in Baja Mexico. Of these birds, 29 fledged in the wild, mostly in California. There are also 179 birds in Captivity, in various breeding programmes, awaiting release or for vetinerary treatment. The recovery programme has always said that a free flying population of 450 birds is required as a minimum for the population to be self-sustaining.

1982 – Just 22 California Condors alive California Condors are highly endangered – only 22 individuals remained alive in 1982. The Peregrine Fund started raising condors in captivity at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, in 1993 and three years later began releasing them to the wild at the Vermilion Cliffs release site in northern Arizona.

Californian Condor (c) pawsoftheplanet.org

Endangered by lead shot ‘The greatest obstacle to a self-sustaining population of California Condors continues to be lead poisoning, the leading cause of death,’ Parish said. The condors ingest lead fragments after eating carrion and entrails from animals that have been shot with lead ammunition. The bullets disperse dozens of tiny particles of lead as small as a grain of salt throughout the animal. These particles are enough to cause lead toxicity in condors when they scavenge on the remains.

Published in Wildlife Extra and reproduced

Nic Slocum

Nic Slocum

Nic Slocum is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic maintains a lifelong passion for using the written word to promote the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on both radio and TV. A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in regional and national newspapers. Nic is a director of Whale Watch West Cork.com and Whales World Wide.com

close
Vanished - Megascops Choliba by Jose Garcia Allievi

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Nic Slocum

Nic Slocum

Nic Slocum is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic maintains a lifelong passion for using the written word to promote the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on both radio and TV. A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in regional and national newspapers. Nic is a director of Whale Watch West Cork.com and Whales World Wide.com

Share this post with your friends

  • 177
    Shares


Facebook Comments

4
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
avatar
Monteen

Are they self sustaining or are there feeding platforms?

Azcondors
Azcondors

Actually, 15 of the wild-fledged did so in Arizona without any intervention/management, not “mostly in California”.  They are heavily impacted by the inadvertent ingestion of lead (pellets and bullet fragments).  Referring to the lead issue by “lead shot” above the condor image is misleading.