Presidents Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt both took significant actions to protect the California condor during their terms in office.

Historian Douglas Brinkley described how Theodore Roosevelt came to create Pinnacles National Monument (now National Park). Pinnacles offered exceptional animal diversity, remarkable plant communities, and spectacular volcanic rock formations. But, Brinkley writes:

[t]he clincher, to Roosevelt, was that The Condor (a periodical) reported California condors using the Pinnacles as a primary roosting site.

An obituary for Franklin Delano Roosevelt appeared (belatedly) in The Auk, the publication of the American Ornithologists’ Union. T. S. Palmer wrote that Roosevelt was elected to the union at the age of just 14. As president, Roosevelt established the Fish and Wildlife Service, the government agency that today has primary responsibility for restoring the California condor. In 1941, Roosevelt signed a treaty with a number of Latin American countries that declared the California condor to be an “inviolate nature monument” and provided for its “strict protection” (only 9 other animal species from the USA received this designation).

The California condor survives today, in part, because of the Presidents Roosevelt.

Brinkley, Douglas. The wilderness warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the crusade for America. Harper. 2009.

Palmer, T S. Obituaries: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Auk. January 1948.

Nature protection and wildlife preservation in the Western Hemisphere and annex: convention between the United States of America and other American republics. Treaty Series 981. Government Printing Office. 1943.