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Sun, Aug. 09

2 condor nestlings join Arizona’s population<br>

Condor 23 soars just above visitors at Lookout Point.

Using the same method, they confirmed earlier this spring that the two pairs had laid eggs.

One nest site is located within Grand Canyon National Park, while the other is on the Bureau of Land Management’s Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

Female condors lay a single egg directly on the floor of a cave and due to prolonged, extensive caregiving may lay only one egg every other year.

Last year’s successful nesting pair failed to produce an egg this year because their growing chick, condor 305, is still largely dependent on them for food. That chick was hatched in May of last year and fledged last fall.

In April, biologists reported that three condors had hatched at separate nesting locations in southern California, the other site for the reintroduction effort.

“A generation of wild-hatched, fledged and reproducing animals is a significant benchmark in any reintroduction program,” said H. Dale Hall, Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Regional Director. “These hatchlings bolster our hope of reestablishing a truly wild population of California condors.”

Saying that he was proud that Grand Canyon National Park is part of the historic recovery effort, superintendent Joe Alston predicted another successful year in the program. He said it’s likely to be several months before the corps of volunteers and biologists keeping watch over the nesting sites will be able to catch a glimpse of Arizona’s newest condors.

“Patience really is a virtue when working with California condors,” said Bill Heinrich, species restoration manager for the Peregrine Fund. “The seven years it took from the initial Arizona release to the first successful fledging of a condor in the wild seemed to take forever. Now, with two more young hatched this year, we hope to be able to look forward to the production of wild-hatched young on an annual basis.”

The historic Arizona reintroduction is a joint project between the Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Southern Utah’s Coalition of Resources and Economics and numerous other partners.

Funding is being provided by the Peregrine Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Awards, Grand Canyon Conservation Fund, Grand Canyon National Park Foundation, Grand Canyon Trust, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Arizona Public Service, Earth Friends, Globe Foundation, Department of Interior Cooperative Conservation Initiative, Kearney Alliance, Steve Martin/Natural Encounters, Patagonia, Connie Pfendler, Peter Pfendler and others.

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