Condor Update - 2011-01 (January)

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 December, 2010:

World Total: 370
(This is down 3 from last month due to 3 fatalities in southern California: 2 deaths by predation and one of unknown cause)

Captive Population (including birds temporarily in captivity): 189

Wild Population: 181

California: 85
Baja California, Mexico: 22
Arizona/Utah: 74 (unchanged)

Arizona condor news, from Eddie Feltes of The Peregrine Fund:

I spoke to Eddie Feltes of The Peregrine Fund today by phone. He reported that trapping continues at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument release site, testing condors for lead poisoning and changing transmitter batteries. All but about a dozen birds have been trapped, and although several have been treated for lead poisoning on site by chelation (generally 2 shots a day for a week), none have been severe enough to require off-site treatment. Of the dozen birds not yet trapped, all are accounted for or known to have moved in the last few weeks, so it should just be a matter of time before they show up at Vermilion Cliffs to be trapped.

Eddie also reports that courtship season is beginning, and there are quite a few pairs showing signs of courtship already. In the South Rim, Grand Canyon National Park area, male 234/tag 4 and female 280/tag 80 have been seen frequently down at Plateau Point, always a bit of a Lover's Lane for condors during the late winter/early spring months. This pair has nested below Buddha Temple in the past, but has not yet produced a chick. Last year they either skipped breeding or their nest failed before it could be confirmed. Another South Rim pair, male 187/tag 87 and female 133/tag 33 have been seen checking out their old nest cave far below Grandeur Point. I'll be rooting especially for another nesting success from this pair, which tend to be seen a lot around Grand Canyon Village.

Eddie expects to put out an update of his own in the next week or so on The Peregrine Fund web site. If you've bookmarked the site and it still takes you to the May 10 Notes, then you missed his October 26 update in a new format. Go to www.peregrinefund.org and click on "Notes From the Field," then on "California Condor Recovery Project."

Until next time,

Marker

Ms. Marker Marshall
Park Ranger--Interpretation
Grand Canyon National Park

Last updated: February 7, 2017