|Pics courtesy of Wikipedia.org|
|Note the tags on the wings of the condor. This helps identify with the population study.|
And the news is positive and the conservation efforts are looking great. There are two genetically diverse populations now in both California and Arizona. Why is it called the California Condor and not the Arizona condor? Simple. The last condor in the wild, at the time, was caught in California thus carrying the state's name. The last of the 22 condors were captured and placed into different areas to begin their breeding efforts. As previously mentioned, condors produce 1 egg every year, but a researcher discovered that if you take the egg from the nest, the condor will lay another egg. If you take that 2nd egg, the condor will lay another. And if you take that 3rd egg, it WON'T lay another:) Understanding this pattern helped increase the condor population quicker. Two eggs would be held in an incubator and raised by human hands while the 3rd egg would be left for the parents to nest upon. Egg shells at the time were extremely soft and had to be treated with extreme care. The Condor program also had to create Momma and Daddy condor puppets to feed the new hatchlings. Today the wild California Condor population stands at 356. Two genetically diverse populations exist both in California and Arizona where their populations continue to grow undisturbed.
Our presenter was fun and interesting. I love success stories and I hope the conservation efforts continue for this incredibly beautiful part of our state. I forgot about Phoenix and our embarrassement of a governor and thought....yes, we do have something positive that can make an Arizonan proud! I left this presentation with a smile on my face knowing that our condor friends were in good hands. More tomorrow....