Return of the Condor?

April 27, 2011 at 9:33 PM (Uncategorized)

It is very exciting to read about the success surrounding a species that nearly was declared extinct!  Actually, this one particular animal was labeled as extinct, with a mere twenty-seven members of it’s species kept within human hands.  However, with the assistance of concerned humans, the California condor is making a comeback!

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is working to help increase the numbers of California condors.  It has released numbers, revealing that there are a total of 394 of these birds.  Only 187 of them exist within wilderness areas.  This has been noted as a substantial increase, since merely twenty-seven of the condors were kept at San Diego Zoo in the late 1980’s, and they had been declared extinct within wildlife regions.

San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park plans to have four-hundred condors at the end of this year’s breeding season.  As well, this zoological facility has coordinators whom are working to see that two-hundred of the condors are released into wildlife areas by the end of 2011.  There have not been nearly four-hundred condors at San Diego Zoo since times between the 1920’s and 1930’s. 

The condor became an exploratory spectacle during the American discovery expeditions of the 18th and 19th centuries.  The expeditions of Lewis and Clark detailed sightings of the birds.  This encouraged other explorers and adventurers to learn all that they could learn about condors.  Ventures into the Pacific Northwest region allowed for reports to be made by botanist David Douglas, and scientific reporter John Kirk Townsend, both of whom were able to provide insight about the nesting habits of condors.

The California condor is the largest flying bird of North America.  It is a vulture, with the largest wingspan of any North American avian animal.  They can live for roughly sixty years.  Also, condors are carnivorous scavengers, feeding mostly off of carrion.    

At this time, it can be found only within areas of The Grand Canyon, mountainous regions of the California coastal region, and within Zion National Park.  Along with San Diego Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo is undertaking breeding methods to increase these birds’ population.  Estimates at the end of 2011 showed that only 384 condors are alive, with 181 of those living within wilderness regions of North America.




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