Archive for July, 2008

California condors to find new home in Santa Barbara

Posted at 12:15 pm July 31, 2008 by Yadira Galindo

The Santa Barbara Zoo will become only the second United States zoo where the public can view the critically endangered California condor on exhibit. Santa Barbara will join the San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park which has been exhibiting the California condor since the year 2000.

On a Wing and a Prayer

Posted at 12:05 pm July 30, 2008 by Karyl Carmignani

With a wingspan of up to 9 1/2 feet and its penchant for soaring, there is no denying the majesty and grace of the California condor. They are symbolic of the San Diego Zoo’s conservation efforts and bi-national partnerships. Soaring silently over the landscape, condors remind us of the profound beauty and wildness in nature. They show us how human activities can quickly eliminate a species, but drastic science-based collaborations can help to bring them back from the abyss of extinction.

Big Sur Survives Big Fire

Posted at 11:39 am July 30, 2008 by Karyl Carmignani

The Ventana Wildlife Society’s Condor Sanctuary, where seven young condors were awaiting release into the wild, was severely damaged by raging wildfires in June. Fortunately, staff scientists were able to evacuate the young birds along with their “mentor” condor before the flames swept through, but they lost all of the field pens in Big Sur for releasing the young condors along with important equipment. Biologists have been able to track the radio signals from all but one of the 43 free-flying adult condors in the central California region. Two nests that were near the blaze fared well, while one nest in a burned area was scorched and the fate of the chick is unknown.

Ventana Wildlife Society is nonprofit organization dedicated to releasing and managing condors in California. They need your help to rebuild the field pens and other structures that were lost in the fire. You can make a donation by visiting their Web site at or call toll-free 877-897-7740. Help the condors rise again!

Condor Emergency Fund Appeal

Posted at 7:05 am July 16, 2008 by admin

Lightening struck Big Sur on June 21 and ignited several wildfires in the Ventana wilderness that combined to become the Basin Complex Fires. Within 24 hours the wildfire cutoff the only access road to the Ventana Wildlife Society’s Condor Sanctuary where seven young condors, awaiting their release to the wild, and their adult “mentor” condor were being held in a remote field pen. The fire grew so rapidly that the US Coast Guard was called in for an emergency rescue by helicopter. Fortunately, all captive condors and staff scientists were evacuated just before the fire grew stronger and burned through the area.