Let’s rejoice the California condor success story

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Life within the midst of a pandemic presents treasured little to rejoice, however the California condor success story ought to heat all of our hearts.

America’s largest birds—their wingspan stretches to 9 ft, 2 ft wider than bald eagles—have been so near extinction that they have been positioned on the federal endangered species checklist in 1967. Within the Eighties, three out of 4 condors within the wild have been both lifeless or dying from lead poisoning. Finally, solely 22 remained.

At this time, there are 504 California condors with 329 flying within the wild. For those who occur to identify one—suppose turkey vultures on steroids—and have binoculars to learn the tag quantity beneath their wings, you could find the title, age and historical past of the hen at condorspotter.com.

Biologists are working to increase the discharge of condors to Redwood Nationwide Park in northern California, increasing the vary of the species from the Baja Peninsula to the Oregon border. If profitable, it would mark the primary time that condors have hovered over the Klamath River and the area’s majestic redwoods in additional than a century.

The final word objective is to launch condors all through the Northwest, the place they as soon as roamed as far north as British Columbia and as far east because the Rocky Mountains.

The choice to seize the one remaining condors and breed them in zoos wasn’t with out controversy. Famend environmentalist David Brower mentioned that creating synthetic environments the place condors can be bred equated to a “type of immorality.” However this system, which concerned constructing feeding stations to coach younger condors how you can forage for meals within the wild, is a serious success story.

Condors lay just one egg yearly, the bottom reproductive fee of any hen. It takes six years for condors to succeed in maturity, they usually can stay as much as 60 years.

By 1994, the captive condors had laid greater than 100 eggs. In 2011, for the primary time in many years, condors have been noticed roaming over Bay Space skies, with 5 of the birds perching atop a Lick Observatory dome.

Condors are able to touring as much as 150 miles in a day, hovering and gliding for hours hundreds of ft overhead, trying to find the lifeless animals (suppose deer and cattle) that they eat. The birds, which weigh between 20-24 kilos, can eat between 2-3 kilos in a day and infrequently go days with out consuming once more.

The way forward for condors is much from sure.

The Dolan Fireplace that raged throughout Large Sur final fall killed 11 condors. However the Bay Space Information Group reported final week {that a} 23-year-old feminine condor, dubbed Redwood Queen, in February laid an egg within the high of a charred redwood tree that flames had blackened in August.

It provided inspiration to Kelly Sorensen of the nonprofit group Ventana Wildlife Society, which helps lead efforts to revive condors.

She spoke for a lot of when interviewed by this newspaper final week, saying, “These birds aren’t giving up. Neither are we.”

Bolivia probes deaths of 35 endangered condors

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Editorial: Let’s rejoice the California condor success story (2021, March 29)
retrieved 29 March 2021
from https://phys.org/information/2021-03-editorial-celebrate-california-condor-success.html

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