To describe the state of an endangered species – its population size, likelihood of extinction, and so on – some authors give pages of details, some offer a straightforward sentence or two, and some provide codes. This post considers status codes assigned to the California condor beginning in the 1960s.
In 1981, the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society held a conference concerning the California condor. A transcript was published the next year. However, this document is not currently in a library (at least a library that is part of the WorldCat network).
As I have an original copy of the conference proceedings, here are some details about the conference and excerpts from the presentations and discussions.
There is little doubt that the California condor is with us today as a result of human management of the species. One critical component of this management has been captive rearing. In the most intensive form of captive rearing, humans take the role of condor parents starting when an egg is laid.
In this post I consider intensive captive rearing from a visual perspective. The photos (and an illustration) below “describe” the hands-on rearing process in a way that words cannot.
The previous post to this blog, Extinct in the wild: news reports – part 1, concerned newspaper reports published the day after the “last wild” California condor was captured on 19 April 1987. This post looks at magazine articles published during the months following this critical event in the history of condors and humans.
Thirty years ago today, 19 April 1987, the “last wild” California condor was captured and taken to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
In this post I note reports of this event that were published the next day in 4 major newspapers. I also show an editorial cartoon that appeared in the Los Angeles Times 2 days after the capture.
Beginning in the 1950s, those concerned about the California condor debated how best to prevent their extinction. Two main alternatives emerged: protect condor habitat and leave the birds alone, or intensively manage the condors, including breeding them in captivity. In the 1980s, the latter strategy won out and has demonstrated success.
However, the survival of California condors continues to depend heavily on human intervention. For example, condors living in the wild regularly experience lead poisoning that requires a return to captivity for veterinary treatment. Condors are exposed to lead primarily by consuming carrion that contains fragments of hunters’ bullets.
I recently encountered a book chapter that gave me new insight into the 20th century debate about how to insure the California condor’s survival. The chapter also considers possible futures for the California condor and for the relationship between the condor and humans. This post offers some reaction to this book chapter.
Updated 6 August 2016
How much does a California condor cost? What is the value of the California condor? What is the California condor worth?
These questions have been considered and answered repeatedly for over a century. In this post I offer some examples.