BOISE, Idaho – Three California condors will be released to the wild in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. The public is welcome to observe the release from a viewing area where spotting scopes will be set up and experts will be available to answer questions.
This will be the 17th public release of condors in Arizona since the recovery program began in 1996. Condors are hatched and reared in captivity at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, and transported to Arizona for release to the wild. Condors also come to the release area from the Oregon Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
Currently, 70 condors are in the wild in the Grand Canyon region. The world’s total population of endangered California Condors is 399, with 198 of them in the wild in Arizona, Utah, California, and Mexico. Condors were reduced to just 22 individuals in the 1980s when a program was begun to save the species from extinction.
Recovery and reintroduction cooperators in Arizona include The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.