Hello Condor Enthusiasts-
I’ve revised the condor tag chart due to some recent changes. You may download it here: December 17, 2010 Condor Tag Chart (100kb pdf file)
Specifically: Two new birds were released on November 26 . Both are one-year-olds: male 520/J2 from the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and female 537/J7 from the Los Angeles Zoo. Also, the four birds missing since last winter or spring have been given up for dead.Those birds were 4-year-old females 404/E0, 414/E1 and 426/E6, and 3-year-old male 454/F4. All were captive-bred birds.
Population Numbers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, as of November 30, 2010:
Total Population: 373
Captive (counting birds in temporary captivity): 176
In California: 104
In Baja: 19
In AZ/UT: 74
Arizona condor news, from Eddie Feltes of The Peregrine Fund:
Eddie Feltes of The Peregrine Fund reports that condors are being trapped in the baited release pen at Vermilion Cliffs, as they come down from the high country when snow covers gut piles and carcasses. This trapping occurs every year to test the birds for lead poisoning at the end of deer and elk-hunting season. A number of the birds trapped thus far have shown elevated lead levels and are being or have been treated by chelation (shots of a calcium compound that binds and removes the lead, usually twice a day for a week).
As the weather worsens, many condors are rediscovering the low, south-facing cliffs and proffered carcasses around the Vermilion Cliffs release site. Others are still finding food on the North Kaibab National Forest, in the western portions of Grand Canyon National Park, and in Utah. There have also been a few recent condor sightings at the South Rim and in Zion National Park. For those who really want to see a condor, in winter the Navajo Bridge on route 89A is one of the more likely spots to search, being low elevation and not far from the release site, and offering relatively close-up views. Of course people should always stay at least 150 feet away from condors, and report to The Peregrine Fund any condors that display a lack of caution toward humans.
The New York Times published this editorial, called "Get the Lead Out of Hunting," in December
Until next time,
Ms. Marker Marshall
Grand Canyon National Park