Oregon Zoo Increases Population of Endagered California Condors

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: May 19, 2020 9:48 pm

California Condor Chick

Photo Credit: Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo is celebrating a significant increase for the population of the critically endangered California condor following the hatching of seven chicks’s this breeding season.

These seven chicks have hatched recently with the last hatching on May 14th.

Lead Condor Keeper at Oregon Zoo, Kelli Walker explained the significance of these birds to a species with just 500 birds remaining, “The seven chicks being raised here right now make up more than 1 percent of all the California condors on the planet.”

The chicks hatched at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation located, in a rural area away from the zoo where they are free from interference by people.

Walker reports that, “All seven chicks appear to be healthy and thriving, which should mark a significant step forward in the recovery of this critically endangered species.”

It will be 8 months before the chick’s can leave their parents at which point they will move to a pre-release pen before eventually moving to part of the California condors native home to be released in to the wild.

In the wild California condor’s currently fly free in Arizona, California and Baja Mexico. They are still under threat despite

extensive breeding program’s and protection efforts. Their main threat is accumulated lead poisoning from eating carcasses of animals which have been hunted. This leads to digestive paralysis and a slow death for the bird.

Luckily conservation programs such as the one at Oregon Zoo have led to some level of recovery for the species. In 1982 just 22 birds were known to be present in the wild and by 1987 the few remaining birds were placed in human care to protect them from a full extinction.

California condors are America’s largest land bird with their wingspan reaching 3m (10ft).

Learn more about California condors hereCalifornia condor | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Oregon Zoo hereOregon Zoo Website

Meet the condor chicks in this video shared by Oregon Zoo below.

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