Thursday, May 2, 2019

Cool California Condors!


California Condor Recovery Program in Pinnacles National Park
My new friend Cammy the Condor in Pinnacles National Park 
This month we have two special days honoring birds, our beautiful feathered friends. May 4th is Bird Day, and May 11th is World Migratory Bird Day. These event-filled days are good reminders of how important birds are to our planet. They play key roles in plant reproduction, they help maintain the populations of other species, and they even help ward of disease! We need to protect them!

On our first visit to Pinnacles National Park (in spring 2015) we met with Park Ranger Alacia Welch who explained the park’s involvement in the California Condor Recovery Program. Along with my new friend “Cammy the Condor,” Alacia explained that due to a number of factors, including lead poisoning, the California condor was close to extinction in the 1980s, reaching a low of 22 individuals. Over the last several decades, conservationists and scientists have committed themselves to saving the condor from extinction and reintroducing birds to the wild. As of December 2017, there are 435 condors both in the wild and in captivity. While this is good news, condors are still endangered due to high mortality from lead poisoning.

Take a listen to our conversation with Alacia, in the YouTube podcast video below. 


Some Cool California Condor Fun Facts:
- The Latin species name is Gymnogyps californianus (trying saying that ten times real fast!)
- They have almost a 10-foot wingspan!
- It's one of the rarest bird species in North America.
- As scavengers, they help keep our planet clean by eating decaying, rotten meat ...glad I don't have to eat that!

You can keep up with the California Condor Recovery Program on the park website, NPS.gov/pinn

For the Birds,
Miss P.

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