Only 23 California condors existed in 1982. Prior to the 1900s these large birds lived in large numbers along many coastlines in the U.S., Baja and British Columbia. Due to hunting, reactions from pesticides and death from ingesting lead bullets, the condor was on the brink of extinction.
Since the 80s, the population has since grown to nearly 200 after a combination of efforts by Southern California zoos and organizations. Some believe more can still be done to help these recently reintroduced animals survive in the wild. Banning the use of lead bullets for hunting in condor habitats is one of the new ideas.
The California condor is the largest flying bird in North America with a wingspan of about nine feet and the ability to fly up to 55 mph by catching wind currents. Condors are scavengers by nature, but breed very infrequently, making re-population a lengthy process. However, in the wild condors can live up to 60 years!
Discover how conservationists have helped reintroduce the condors to the wild and find out how you can help save the California condor.