How to Help California Condors and Other Wildlife
Condor biologist interpreting condor biology and management for visitors.
Learning about condors and the natural world in and of itself is a contribution. Knowledge of how biological systems work and the life cycles of animals and plants helps guide our society’s ability to make good land management decisions. Check out the links at the bottom of the page for additional condor information.
Help from Home
Be a citizen scientist and help condor recovery right from home. Go to www.condorwatch.org. and review photos of condors and record your observations. You will help collect information from the photos that condor biologists on several condor recovery teams will have access too.
Hunters testing non-lead bullets at shooting event.
Understand the Role of Hunting
Viable, thriving ecosystems include checks and balances. Hunting has been part of natural balances for thousands of years, depending upon grazing and browsing animals just like the coyote and mountain lion. Scavengers like condors can benefit from eating the scraps that hunters or predators leave on the land.
Hunters that use non-lead ammunition carry on the proud tradition of wildlife conservation by preventing condors and other animals from being exposed to lead, a toxic substance. Visit Hunting with-Non Lead for more information.
Poachers undermine sound wildlife management, infringe on people’s privacy, and disrespect the good efforts of responsible hunters. If you have information about illegal shootings or trespass, call the Department of Fish and Game at (888) DFG-CALTIP (888-334-2258), or your local game agency.
Historic cattle ranching on rural landscape in central California.
Celebrate Working Rural Landscapes
Condors and other wildlife thrive in open landscapes with sparse human infrastructure. Because condors scavenge for dead animals, they benefit from finding the occasional cow, sheep or other ranch or farm animal that happens to die on the open range.
Continuation of ranching traditions is good for people, good for condors, and a great way to ensure that wide open tracts of land will remain part of the heritage of the West.
Sub-adult California condor.
Post Your Observations
If you’re visiting a park or other public lands and see rare wildlife or notable behaviors you think scientists might be interested in, please contact the land management agency and report your observations. To report condor observations in and around Pinnacles, please e-mail us at e-mail us.
Pinnacles employees cleaning up trash along park roads for Adopt-A-Highway efforts.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Recycle what you can and think of creative ways to avoid using disposable products in the first place. Not only will you help reduce energy and resource consumption, but you'll also reduce the chance that trash will end up in the wrong place. Because many species of wildlife, including condors, can accidentally ingest plastic or other trash, less trash on the land = healthier wildlife. Extend the three R's ethos to activities outside of your home and look at what you can do in your community to reduce waste and litter. Volunteering to help clean up litter from natural landscapes is a particularly effective way to help wildlife.
Bobcat road kill near Pinnacles National Monument.
Thousands of animals die every year when they are struck by automobiles. Often, these road kills are scavenged on by other animals and sometimes the scavenger will also end up dead on the road. Condors rarely approach roads, but vultures and other scavengers often do. Slowing down and keeping an eye out for wildlife crossings are good for both wildlife and drivers. No one wants to end up with a deer on their windshield.
Keep Wildlife Wild
Spread the practice and the word to never feed wild animals intentionally or unintentionally. Properly store food and make it inaccessible to wildlife. Condors and other wildlife need to stay wild and not become habituated to hand outs. It's bad for their health and changes their behavior negatively. If you see someone giving a hand out, please kindly tell them why it actually hurts the animal.