The words that humans choose when discussing the California condor reflect how we perceive these birds and our attitudes toward them. In this post, I consider the word “protect” in its various forms.
For this initial look at “protect”, I consider the titles of articles from newspapers, magazines, and academic journals. All these articles at least mention the California condor. The articles date back to the beginning of the previous century.
These articles are about birds in general but the text of each refers to the California condor:
“Would Protect All Birds”. San Francisco Call. 16 June 1903.
Pough, Richard H. “Bird Protection in the United States”. Bulletin of the International Council for Bird Preservation. 1952.
Wright, Pearce. “Bird Species Declining Fast, despite Protection”. Times [London]. 8 August 1981.
Here are examples of articles focused on the California condor:
“Protection for Condors Urged”. Los Angeles Times. 13 February 1926.
Jones, Robert A. “‘Protective Custody’ Proposed for State’s Vanishing Condors”. Los Angeles Times. 3 April 1985.
Romney, Lee. “Yurok Tribe Works to Protect a Raptor It Reveres: California Condor”. Los Angeles Times. 28 April 2014.
During the 20th century, awareness grew that protecting a species required protecting its habitat:
Palmer, T S. “Faunal Reservations for the Protection of Wild Life”. Circular [Bureau of Biological Survey]. 5 October 1912.
Miller, Joanna M. “Plan Would Protect Santa Paula Creek from Developers”. Los Angeles Times. 23 August 1993.
Minnich, Richard A, and colleagues. “A Land Above: Protecting Baja California’s Sierra San Pedro Mártir within a Biosphere Reserve”. Journal of the Southwest. Autumn-Winter 1997.
Condors were also considered to be in need of protection from specific threats:
Olendorff, Richard R, and colleagues. “Suggested Practices for Raptor Protection on Power Lines: The State of the Art in 1981”. Raptor Research Report. 1981.
Mecoy, L. “Lead Still Threatening Condors – Some Experts Call for a Ban on the Ammunition to Help Protect the Birds”. Vulture News. 2003.
Chang, Gwong-Jen J, and colleagues. “Prospective Immunization of the Endangered California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) Protects This Species from Lethal West Nile Virus Infection”. Vaccine. 8 March 2007.
Protection of condors involves governmental efforts:
“The State Protects the Wild Birds”. Pacific Rural Press. 27 May 1905.
“Camping Area Closed to Protect Condors”. Los Angeles Times. 2 December 1980.
“Audubon California Applauds Signing of Legislation to Protect California Condor”. Vulture News. March 2008.
And protection of condors involves the efforts of non-governmental organizations:
Gabrielson, Ira N, and colleagues. “Report of the American Ornithologists’ Union Advisory Committee on Bird Protection”. Auk. April 1954.
“Audubon Group Tries to Protect Condors’ Nests”. Los Angeles Times. 21 August 1950.
Wolfe, Bruce. “The California Condor: Conservancy Helps Protect Bird Facing Extinction”. Nature Conservancy News. Fall 1971.
Finally, I note articles that employ “protect” in their titles in atypical ways. This is the only title I found explicitly identifying humans as the providers of protection:
“Protectors of Condors Oppose Mile-High Road”. Los Angeles Times. 28 February 1964.
This next article is about the adverse impact on California condors of poison-containing collars worn by livestock:
“Protective Livestock Collars – Toxic Threat?” National Geographic. October 1996.
This article’s title sounds like a (worthy) command:
Bennet, Molly. “Surveil and Protect”. Audubon. Spring 2018.
And this article reminds us what underlies animal protection efforts:
Goldstein, Mark. “To Protect and Love Animals, We Must First Experience Them”. Los Angeles Times. 14 April 1992.
For more on the language humans apply to California condors, click on the WORDS button under POST TOPICS (somewhere on this screen, depending on your device).