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HOPPER MOUNTAIN NWR:Travelling Condor Exhibit lands at California State University, Channel Islands
California-Nevada Offices , March 11, 2010
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Michael Woodbridge assembles the final touches on Chocuyens (USFWS, 2010).
Michael Woodbridge assembles the final touches on Chocuyens (USFWS, 2010). - Photo Credit: n/a
From left to right: President R. Rush, Angela Chapman, Jesse Grantham, Lisa Cox, and Kim Valverde, pose in front of Chocuyens (Dr. Sean Anderson/California State Universit--Channel Islands, 2010).
From left to right: President R. Rush, Angela Chapman, Jesse Grantham, Lisa Cox, and Kim Valverde, pose in front of Chocuyens (Dr. Sean Anderson/California State Universit--Channel Islands, 2010). - Photo Credit: n/a

By Lisa Cox, SCEP Wildlife Biologist

In Camarillo, CA, on March 11, 2010, California State University—Channel Islands (CI) announced the opening of the “Condor Chocuyens Exhibit” at the John Spoor Broome Library. Sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), CI Biology Program, and CI Environmental Science & Resource Management Program, the exhibit is open to the public.

Speakers for the opening program included CI President Richard R. Rush; Amy Denton, Chair of the Biology Program; Marc Weitzel, Project Leader for the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Complex (HMNWRC); Jesse Grantham, Condor Coordinator for the California Condor Recovery Program; and Christopher Cogan, Assistant Professor, CI Environmental Sciences & Resource Management Program.  The HMNWRC worked with CI to bring the exhibit to campus so people can learn more about these magnificent birds and how to protect them by keeping wilderness areas free of contaminants.

Chocuyens is a juvenile California condor displayed in a Plexiglas case along with interpretive information and condor video footage.  Before arriving at CI, Chocuyens travelled around the country as a short-term exhibit at various museums.  Chocuyens was one of the first captive-bred condors to be released (in 1991) into the wild as part of the California Condor Recovery Program.  Unfortunately he was also the first released condor to die from exposure to ethylene glycol.  He was two years old. 

The USFWS is lending the exhibit to CI through February 2011.  There are approximately 40 condors in the backcountry around Ventura County, mostly in the Los Padres National Forest.  Other populations of California condors are flying free in Big Sur, California,  the Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Baja California. Currently, the wild fledgling success of condors is on the rise. The Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge is currently home to three fertile nests for 2010, and Pinnacles National Monument had its first wild-laid egg in over 100 years just last month.

Three CI students are working at the USFWS HMNWRC and assisting with the Recovery Program:  Lisa Cox (SCEP), Ivett Plascencia (STEP) and Kimberly Valverde (STEP).


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



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