In a world of constant change, it’s often disheartening to read of the downward decline of so many species of our animals, plants, and other lesser life-forms. The culprits are easy to point fingers at. It’s often poaching, climate changes, and habitat disruption that will reduce the population of not just birds but also many other living things dependent on nature to deliver proper homes without detrimental impact. But as the human factor increases in a rapidly developing world, it’s simply inevitable that a series of decisive occurrences can destroy a thriving ecosystem. These often planned and executed events then begin to deprive the world of so many forms of existing life. With many species now endangered, it’s not hard to realize that a world void of most life could eventually happen. Unless, of course, we collectively take appropriate actions to curtail such declines.
One of the birds in our long, long list of endangered birds is the California Condor. The California Condor is North America’s largest bird. With a massive wingspan of 9 1/2 feet, these birds are impressive to see. They have an estimated life span of approximately 60 to 70 years. It is also a species that once had only 22 known to exist in the wild. That’s frighteningly low. It’s not outside the immediate realm of possibility that the California Condor could be lost to us forever. One devastating event back then when numbers were low could have wiped out all of them in a single sweep.
Saving North America’s Largest Bird
Since 1982, an ambitious program was initiated to help save the California Condor from extinction. Conservationists within the new California Condor Recovery Program gathered up the 22 birds and worked hard to increase their numbers by careful and methodical scientific plan. The Peregrine Fund has taken an active and important interest in the preservation of these magnificent birds. With their active involvement, along with other efforts, the California Condor has reached a magnificent milestone — the hatching of the species’ one thousandth chick. That number has caused the community of conservationists to rejoice that their long-term efforts are effectively paying off.
Today, the range of wild condors in existence are thought to be around 300. Counting the safety numbers in captivity, there are around 500 California Condors in all. Those in the wild are found in the regions of California, Arizona, Utah, and landscapes of Baja California (Mexico). Ninety-two of these birds are found in Northern Arizona and Southern Utah, all living within canyon terrain.
On September 28, an annual condor release is planned for the public to come and enjoy. A few young captivity-bred condors will join their kind in Northern Arizona at the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. With luck, they will absorb into the existing flocks and start families of their own, thus improving on the revitalization efforts. These young birds are from the Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey (Boise, Idaho), LA Zoo, San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park, and the Oregon Zoo.
The Peregrine Fund is a nonprofit organization dependent on the generosity of donations and grants. If this conservation effort speaks to you, consider contributing to a historic trend of growth. Explore the Peregrine Fund at its informative website, and learn how you can contribute and help.