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WILDLIFE WATCHING — Groups tracking the reintroduction of the endangered California condor celebrated last year when a record four birds hatched near the Arizona-Utah border.
This year has brought increased enthusiasm with the possibility that a condor hatched in the wild will produce the first second-generation wild bird.
Eddie Feltes of The Peregrine Fund says he and others are keeping their fingers crossed.
Breeding is underway for the condors in the Arizona-Utah flock and the captive flock at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho.
Biologists are watching from afar as adult condors incubate an egg in the Arizona-Utah flock nesting at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
The captive flock is expected to produce up to 20 birds this season.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — The recovery program to restore the California condor in Arizona has reached its 15th anniversary this month with reason to celebrate.
More than 70 condors are flying wild in the southwest skies.
The Peregrine Fund breeds condors at its World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise and releases them to the wild at its release facility in Arizona. The fund monitors and treats them for lead poisoning and other problems.
ENDANGERED SPECIES — Two of three California condor chicks that hatched in the Grand Canyon of Arizona earlier this year are doing well, including one that recently took its first flight from the nest.
The other surviving chick is flapping its wings and hopping around its cliff-cave nest, indicating it's ready to fledge, too.
The third chick recently perished, possibly from a fall from the nest, but not before the three chicks and their parents set milestones for recovery of the endangered species:
- The greatest number of chicks hatched in the wild in one breeding season since the effort to recover endangered condors in the Grand Canyon region began in 1996.
- The first time during recovery efforts that three chicks were producedin the wild in a single season.
“We remain hopeful that the two remaining chicks will join the ever-growing flock,” said Eddie Feltes, field manager for The Peregrine Fund, an Idaho-based conservation organization that oversees the condor recovery program in Arizona and southern Utah.
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