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|Wednesday 10th November 2004, 20:43||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Gainesville, Florida, USA
First Wild Condor Chick Takes Off
"The first wild-born condor chick to fly in California in 22 years officially fledged Nov. 4 when it took a 150-foot flight. It first left its nest in early September, perching 20-50 feet below the nest cave where it hatched April 9 near the Hopper Mountain NWR, CA.
The last wild condor chick fledged in 1982.
Both parents are captive-released birds. The 10-year-old father is the dominant male of the southern California flock. He was released by Hopper Mountain Refuge in 1995. The seven-year-old female was released at Big Sur by the Ventana Wilderness Society in 1998. The parents will care for the chick until it is approximately 18 months old.
The 2,417-acre Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, CA, was established in 1974 to protect the California condor. Two other wildlife refuges – Blue Ridge in 1982 and Bitter Creek in 1985 – joined Hopper Mountain to create a refuge complex for the same purpose. Today, Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex is the base of operations for condor reintroduction to southern California.
Hopper Mountain Refuge provides foraging and roosting habitat. Its condor rearing facility has six simulated nest caves and a flight pen. Condor chicks are transferred to the flight pen when they are 8-10 months old to undergo power-pole aversion conditioning. They stay until they are old enough to be released into the wild.
One hundred eleven condors live in the wild in California, Arizona and Baja, Mexico; 135 live in captivity at the Los Angeles Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, the Oregon Zoo and the Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, ID.
The largest bird in North America, the condor was listed as an endangered species in 1967 under a law that pre-dated the Endangered Species Act. They have soared over mountainous areas of California since prehistoric times. But their numbers plummeted in the 20th century, reaching their lowest level in 1982 when just 22 birds existed. Their decline is partially due to loss of habitat and food and from shooting, lead poisoning and toxic substances used to poison predators.
The Condor Recovery Program began releasing California condors back into the wild in 1992. "
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|Saturday 13th November 2004, 10:31||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: PRESTON, LANCS
Thanks for the news about the Californian Condors, it is good to see that when man "wants to" things can be turned round.
I am sure that more "good news" stories like this one will show us all what can be done and encourage others to have a "go".
Proves to an old cynic like me that there are people out there who care and are making a difference.
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