Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Condor Recovery: Mexico City Receives Two California Condors From San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park
California-Nevada Offices , June 4, 2007
Print Friendly Version
Marc Weitzel (right)  joins Mike Mace and Don Sterner from the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park to release an adult male California condor to the Chapultepec Zoo's flight pen June 1, 2007. (Photo: San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park)
Marc Weitzel (right)  joins Mike Mace and Don Sterner from the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park to release an adult male California condor to the Chapultepec Zoo's flight pen June 1, 2007. (Photo: San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park) - Photo Credit: n/a
A California condor proudly poses for a photographer at the Chapultepec Zoo. (Photo: San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park)
A California condor proudly poses for a photographer at the Chapultepec Zoo. (Photo: San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park) - Photo Credit: n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAN DIEGO -Two male California condors received a ceremonial welcome from Mexico June 4 after traveling in the cargo hold of an Aeromexico jet from the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park to their new home at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City.  U.S. Ambassador Antonio Garza presented the condors to Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon during a brief ceremony at the Chapultepec Zoo.  

 

"The Chapultepec Zoo's participation will greatly increase the public awareness of California condor conservation efforts in Mexico," said Steve Thompson, manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's California and Nevada Operations Office. "This program is an example of a truly successful bi-national partnership, and we welcome the Chapultepec Zoo to the California Condor Recovery Program."

 

Mexico has been a partner in the recovery program since 2002, when the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir condor release site in Baja California, Mexico became operational.  The Chapultepec Zoo has alsoworked for many years with Andean condors, the larger South American cousin of the California species.  The transfer of California condors to the zoo marks the first documented presence of California condor in any of Mexico's zoos.

 

"The arrival of the California condors to the Chapultepec Zoo represents a great responsibility and at the same time a great opportunity to present (to more than 5 million visitors a year) this species that once became extinct in the wild," said Fernando Gual Sill, M.V.Z. M.Sc., Dirección General de Zoológicos y Vida Silvestre de la Ciudad de Mexico general director. "Thanks to the efforts of the United States and Mexico, this species was kept alive in zoos for a future reintroduction to its native habitat in both countries."

 

Marc Weitzel, project leader at Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex, joined staff from the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park to escort the two adult male condors on the trip to Mexico City May 31.  The condors and U.S. escorts traveled to Mexico City courtesy of Aeromexico, who donated the flight.

 

The initial plan is for the birds to act as conservation education emissaries as visitors to the Chapultepec Zoo observe the birds for the first time. In the future, the Chapultepec Zoo may also become a breeding facility. Currently there are four facilities breeding California condors, including the Park, Los Angeles and Oregon zoos and The Peregrine Fund's Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho.

 

"Sending California condors to the Chapultepec Zoo is another collaborative step between the United States and Mexico in our attempts to insure the survivorship of a critically endangered species," said Michael Mace, San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park curator of birds. "The next phase includes working together to assist the Chapultepec Zoo staff in developing a breeding center and cross training staff with the hope of raising condors at the zoo for future release in Baja California."

 

Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Condor Recovery Program is built upon a foundation of private and public partnerships.  In the United States, partners include the Zoological Society of San Diego, Los Angeles Zoo, The Peregrine Fund, Oregon Zoo, Mexican partners include the Instituto Nacional de Ecología and the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas and the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, and now the Dirección General de Zoológicos y Vida Silvestre, among others. 

 

Approximately 138 condors are flying free in the skies above parts of California, Arizona and in Baja California, Mexico. There are more than 148 condors at the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, Los Angeles Zoo, The Peregrine Fund and Oregon Zoo. Only three facilities in the world -- Chapultepec Zoo, San Diego Zoo and Peregrine Fund facility -- offer opportunities for the public to view California condors.

 

 


Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer