• Big-berry manzanita and the skyline of the high peaks greet visitors who explore the steep and narrow portion of the High Peaks trail. NPS Photo|Sierra Willoughby

    Pinnacles

    National Park California

How to Help California Condors and Other Wildlife

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Condor biologist interpreting condor biology and management for visitors.

NPS Photo by Gavin Emmons

Stay Informed
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.

 
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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.

 
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Hunters testing non-lead bullets at shooting event.

NPS Photo

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.

 
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Pinnacles employees cleaning up trash along park roads for Adopt-A-Highway efforts.

NPS Photo by Gavin Emmons

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.

 
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Report Poaching
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.

 
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Bobcat road kill near Pinnacles National Monument.

NPS Photo by Daniel George

Drive Safely
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.

 
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Sub-adult California condor.

NPS Photo by Gavin Emmons

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 observations at Pinnacles, please email us at pinn_visitor_information@nps.gov.

 
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California condor sunning on rock perch in High Peaks.

NPS Photo by Gavin Emmons

Keep Wildlife Wild
Spread the practice and the word to not ever 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.

 
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Wildlife biologist monitoring condor activity in the High Peaks.

NPS Photo

Volunteer
There are many groups working to help California condors survive in the wild here in California. Consider getting involved with the organization closest to where you live:

Pinnacles Partnership
Volunteer at Pinnacles
Ventana Wildlife Society
Friends of California Condors Wild and Free
Santa Barbara Zoo
Hi Mountain Lookout

 

Did You Know?

A bat in caves at Pinnacles NM

Pinnacles National Park is home to 14 of the 24 bat species in California. Pinnacles provides excellent habitat for many other species as well.