Health Editor’s Note: A reason for a celebration. It seems that the imminent extinction of the California Condor has been averted, at least for now. Keep those condor chicks coming!…..Carol
The California Condor Nearly Went Extinct. Now, the 1000th Chick of a Recovery Program Has Hatched.
by Brigit Katz Smithsonian.com
The California condor is North America’s largest bird, a powerful (if not conventionally beautiful) creature that feasts on carrion and can soar to heights of 15,000 feet. In 1982, just 22 of these impressive animals remained in the world, their populations decimated by a slew of human-related factors: lead poisoning, habitat destruction, pollution and hunting. So wildlife experts were thrilled to confirm that a new baby California condor had hatched within the cliffs of Utah’s Zion National Park, making it the 1000th chick to hatch since the launch of an official breeding program to save the species in the ’80s.
According to the National Park Service and the Associated Press, the egg likely was laid in mid-March and hatched at the beginning of May. It took some time to affirm the chick’s birth because California condors nest in caves atop steep, hard-to-access cliffs. Janice Stroud-Settles, a wildlife biologist at Zion National Park, tells Maanvi Singh of the Guardian that park workers recently noticed one condor couple seemed to be taking turns scavenging for food, suggesting that they had hatched a chick.