The second California condor chick to fledge in the wild in
The 6-month-old condor continues to make short flights while remaining close to the nest site. At least one parent is nearby keeping a watchful eye on the young bird as it explores the surroundings. The parents will continue to care for the juvenile condor until it is approximately 18 months old.
The chick was hatched May 2 near the refuge, which is home to the Service's California Condor Recovery Program. It is the first chick to fledge in the wild in
"This is a significant event; each time a condor chick fledges in the wild it brings us that much closer to the goal of the recovery of this great bird," said Steve Thompson, manager of the Service's
Within all release sites, only one other chick hatched this year, but died of unknown causes after two months.
We want to acknowledge the hard work of our partners and volunteers in the success of this fledging. They put in long hours of nest monitoring and assisted us with health checks on this chick,? said Marc Weitzel, Project Leader for Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Ventura County.
There are 128 condors now living in the wild in
The Service is the lead federal partner in a multi-agency partnership working to conserve the California condor. Other partners include the Los Padres National Forest, California Department of Fish and Game, and several private partners. Private organizations and institutions actively participate in the recovery program, contributing personnel, expertise, institutional support, and funding. California condor captive breeding programs are operated at San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, Los Angeles Zoo, Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey, and the Oregon Zoo. Release programs in
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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Digital photographs of this condor are available at http://www.fws.gov/cno. More information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California condors is available on the Internet at: