Condor Reintroduction


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Map of locations of CA condor release sites

Photo: USFWS


It has been more than a century since the California condor flew over the redwoods. The Pacific Northwest and coastal redwoods used to be their home. In 1805, Lewis and Clark even saw condors at the mouth of the Columbia River. For many cultural, historical and ecological reasons, the return of California condors to far Northern California is very beneficial.

In 1982 there were only twenty-two California Condors left in the world. In 1992, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), with its public and private partners, began reintroducing captive-bred condors to the wild.

In 2003, the Yurok Tribe identified restoring California condors to Yurok Ancestral Territory as a top priority. In 2008, the Yurok Tribe wildlife program obtained a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and began scientifically assessing the historical habitat for current suitability. It has been shown that this landscape still is a viable habitat for the condors. The Yurok Tribe is a full partner in this reintroduction effort.

A large group of agencies, tribal governments, wildlife societies, hunter as stewards programs, park partners, non-profit and private organizations collaborated to establish a condor release site in Redwood National Park. This become a reality in spring 2022 when an "experimental population" of (initially) five condors became part of the Redwood National and State Park's scenery, and eventually visitors' experience.

A similar experimental condor population was successfully established in Arizona's Vermillion Cliffs. Other condor populations were established at California's Big Sur, Pinnacles National Park, and at Hopper Mountain and Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuges.

Timeline and public input.

By 2016, the proposed Redwood reintroduction effort was in the planning and early funding stage. This process moved forward with public input which began in early 2017. There were over a dozen public meetings in California and Oregon, and on-line and written ways for the public to provide input and feedback.

It took a year for the planning, public comments, meetings and evaluations to be completed. The condor reintroduction plan was approved and that signing occurred in 2019.

The formal announcement of the condors returning to the redwoods as an non-essential, experimental population was made in March 2021. See the press release.

In March 2022, the first cohorts of Prey-go-neesh arrived in the redwoods. More have come - and more will be coming. Read about what condors are actually here.

Videos and Articles

Watch short video clips by Redwood National Park rangers and Yurok tribal members about different connections to condors.

World CA Condor Update (2020) from the National Park Service and US FIsh and Wildlife Service.

Article (2020) about Condors returning to the Redwoods, written by a Redwood National Park ranger.

Article (2017) about Condor reintroduction to the national parks.


How do I stay up to date?

1) You will find all news releases on the park news release page.
March 23, 2021 Condor press release. Condors Will Take Flight.
November 2, 2016 Condor press release. PG&E is a major partner. (PDF)

2) Engage with each other and us on our social media platforms. @RedwoodNPS

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    Tags: condors

    Last updated: October 17, 2022

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