January 21, 2010
Contact: Carl Brenner
, 831 389 4486 x265
Mark Paxton, 831 801 4882
Two of the world's largest and most endangered birds will benefit from a sister park agreement signed today by the directors of the National Park Service and Argentina's Administracion de Parques Nacionales. This formal partnership uniting Pinnacles National Monument in California and Parque Nacional Quebrada del Condorito in Cordoba will strengthen condor conservation efforts at both sites.
"These two national parks are located in different countries but are connected by their efforts to protect similar resources," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "They have comparable terrain and features, but most importantly, they have both played a vital role in the return of the condor. Due to incredible conservation efforts at and between the parks, the majestic bird once again soars over these areas."
"These two parks have already shared scientific expertise while working together on condor recovery projects," said Administracion de Parques Nacionales President Dr. Patricia Gandini. “This pact will enable us to continue to coordinate information and research efforts on common issues including resource protection, educational programs, and community outreach.” Jarvis and Gandini expressed gratitude to many present at the ceremony who actively support the partnership, including Congressman Sam Farr (D- CA), Argentine diplomat José Luis Santiago Perez Gabilondo, Pinnacles National Monument Superintendent Eric Brunnemann, Rotary International member Peter Anderson, and Pinnacles Partnership representative David Cole. Rotary International and the Pinnacles Partnership actively supported staff exchanges and the sister park agreement. Pinnacles Partnership is a non- profit organization supporting a variety of activities at the monument.
The California condor is the largest North American land bird; it weighs about 20 pounds, is four feet long, has a nine- foot wingspan, and can glide for miles without flapping its wings. By the mid 1980’s, only 22 existed, and a conservation plan was hatched to capture and breed the species. Today, Pinnacles National Monument is home to 26 of 189 free flying California condors.
The Andean condor is the largest flying bird on earth and shares many physical attributes with its cousin the California condor. It is a national symbol of Argentina and plays an important role in South American folklore and mythology. Local conservation efforts have ensured that this powerful, yet threatened, bird will continue to roam the skies.
This is the first sister park partnership to form under an official Memorandum of Understanding signed between the National Park Service and the Administracion de Parques Nacionales in 1997. The agencies hope that today’s bi- lateral agreement is the first step in reinvigorating cooperation in park matters between the two nations.
The National Park Service currently has 37 sister park relationships between U.S. and foreign protected areas that share similar natural or cultural resources and/or management issues. Pinnacles Partnership, a friends group formed by several local citizens in 2006, supports projects at Pinnacles that are critical to protecting and restoring park lands. These projects range from supporting condor recovery efforts at Pinnacles, celebrating the park’s centennial anniversary, and supporting schools' abilities to use Pinnacles as an outdoor classroom. This non- profit organization exists thanks to caring contributors in the community. www.pinnaclespartnership.org
Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.
Park information can be obtained by calling 831 - 389 - 4485.