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HOPPER MOUNTAIN NWRC: California Condor Recovery Program Hosts Mexican Partners
California-Nevada Offices , August 27, 2009
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Visiting the health center at LA Zoo. From left to right: Elvia de la Cruz, Juan Vargas, Catalina Porras, Fernando Gual (USFWS-Dancourt, 2009).
Visiting the health center at LA Zoo. From left to right: Elvia de la Cruz, Juan Vargas, Catalina Porras, Fernando Gual (USFWS-Dancourt, 2009). - Photo Credit: n/a
California condor on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo (USFWS-Dancourt, 2009).
California condor on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo (USFWS-Dancourt, 2009). - Photo Credit: n/a
Viewing an active condor nest in Hopper Canyon. From left to right: Fernando Gual, Elvia de la Cruz, Catalina Porras, Juan Vargas (USFWS-Dancourt, 2009).
Viewing an active condor nest in Hopper Canyon. From left to right: Fernando Gual, Elvia de la Cruz, Catalina Porras, Juan Vargas (USFWS-Dancourt, 2009). - Photo Credit: n/a

by Gabriella Dancourt, Hopper Mountain NWRC
Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC), California Condor Recovery Program hosted a group of California condor conservationists from Mexico During the last weekend of August 2009. The group consisted of two representatives from Mexico City, Elvia de la Cruz of the National Institute of Ecology and Fernando Gual of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as well as two wildlife biologists monitoring the released condors in Baja, Juan Vargas and Catalina Porras.

 

Their main objective was to see all reproductive aspects of managing both captive and wild California condors in Southern California to help design a more independent reproductive management plan for the growing condor population of the Sierra de San Pedro Martir National Park in Baja, Mexico.

 

On August 27, 2009, Gabriella Dancourt, USFWS Biological Science Technician, met the visitors in San Diego and escorted them over the next few days to view the captive breeding, rearing, and exhibit facilities at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, the Los Angeles Zoo, and the Santa Barbara Zoo. During this time, Gabriella also took the group to view an active condor nest site at Hopper Mountain NWR and to view Southern California’s condor release site at Bitter Creek NWR. The tour ended on September 1, and although there was a lot to absorb in such a relatively short amount of time, Elvia, Fernando, Juan, and Catalina each took with them a great deal of valuable information and expressed their immense gratitude for the opportunity to connect with various U.S. partners of the California Condor Recovery Program.

 

This visit marks the start of a renewed partnership between the U.S and Mexican condor reintroduction efforts with a future of increased collaboration between both countries. The communication and exchanges among field biologists will be incredibly important as each release site’s population continues to grow and individual birds more frequently cross the border to someday encompass the condor’s entire historic range. The Mexican government has already reciprocated with the extension of an invitation to host USFWS condor biologists at their Baja release site in the very near future which USFWS readily accepted.

 


Contact Info: Michael Woodbridge, 916-978-4445, michael_woodbridge@fws.gov



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