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World CA Condor Update – 2019

Condor Enthusiasts -
Below is the population information on the California Condors as of December 31, 2019 compiled by our partners at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. For more comprehensive information about condor recovery check out their webpage. For details about individual birds, check the most recent CA Condor Studbook from our partners at the San Diego Zoo. All information provided here is compiled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from the many CA Condor recovery partners.

AS OF DECEMBER 31, 2019--
TOTAL WORLD POPULATION = 518:

The recovery program hit a milestone this year with the 1000th individual bird to be identified since the start of recovery efforts in the 1980's! This studbook number was given to a wild hatched bird in Zion National Park, Utah (SW meta-population).

Number of wild-fledged chicks = 14
Number of birds newly released into the wild from captivity = 32
Number of mortalities in the free-flying population = 17


TOTAL CAPTIVE POPULATION = 181:

Captive Breeding is conducted at the Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey, Los Angeles Zoo, San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and Oregon Zoo in the U.S. and Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City, Mexico.

Number of captive breeding pairs = 50
Number of captive hatched chicks =
34


WILD, FREE-FLYING POPULATION TOTAL = 337:

Southern California, USA Meta-Population [est. 1995]:
Wild fledglings: 9 Releases: 6 Mortalities: 4 Total Size: 99
Hopper Mountain Refuge (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
Condor Spotter

Southwest, USA Meta-Population [est. 1996]:
Wild fledglings: 5 Releases: 10 Mortalities: 5 Total Size: 98
Grand Canyon National Park SW Condor Updates (U.S. National Park Service)
The Peregrine Fund SW Condor List; On Facebook as CondorCliffs

Central California, USA Meta-Population [est.1997]:
Wild fledglings: 6 Releases: 14 Mortalities: 8 Total Size: 101
Pinnacles National Park Condor Profiles (U.S. National Park Service)
Ventana Wildlife Society Condor Page
Condor Spotter

Baja California, Mexico Meta-Population [est. 2002]:
Wild fledglings: 1 Releases: 2 Mortalities: 0 Total Size: 39
Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Martir (Mexico National Park Service)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service International Program


WILD BIRD MORTALITY NOTES:
  • From 1992 through 2019 there have been 93 documented deaths from lead poisoning in the free flying population.

  • Lead poisoning is responsible for 50 percent of the 185 condor deaths where a cause of death has been determined.

  • An additional 93 free-flying condors have been presumed dead after missing for more than 365 days.


NEW RELEASE AREA:

In a major effort to restore the California condor population, the National Park Service, Yurok Tribe, National Park Foundation, Pacific Gas & Electric, and many other partners are collaborating to reintroduce condors to traditional Yurok territory in Redwood National Park. The condor reintroduction plan for this NW meta-population was approved and signed in 2019 and preparation continues for on the ground releases.


Prepared by Miranda Terwilliger, Wildlife Biologist, Division of Science and Resource Management, Grand Canyon National Park. Updated: March 2020

Last updated: March 4, 2020