Worries over wind farms cloud condor repopulation program
WASHINGTON • While nearly all the condors’ relatives are on deathlists and many will never be seen again, one family is hoping for a positive change in their name.
A condor population recovery program is in the works, but some observers are concerned the project may lack sufficient political backing and political will.
The Condor Recovery Program, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners are currently conducting, aims to restore the last of the 17 species to the country’s western range within the next eight years. With only a few hundred left, this would be a remarkable achievement.
In the case of the condors, it would be remarkable not because of their sheer numbers, but because of the species’ precarious plight.
Currently, around 300 condors live in captivity around the world, including some 30 breeding pairs at the Wildlife Center of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and its captive breeding program, and a handful of captive-breeding pairs at the San Diego Zoo’s San Diego condor center. The world’s last remaining breeding pair is in the U.S., on a private ranch in WashingtonState.
The Condor Recovery Program, which began in September 2006 as Condor Recovery Initiative, is now known as the Condor Recovery Program – National Condor Conservation Team, after the groups of scientists, conservationists and government officials who are working together to raise funds, find support and publicize the effort. The group is led by retired environmental and wildlife biologist J.R. Lipp, and includes scientists, wildlife experts and ecologists, as well as biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and from wildlife agencies in Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the U.S.
In Washington, the condor program is supported and coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The federal government is paying nearly $2 million over the next four years for condor conservation, with the rest coming from private