California condor recovery reaches landmark03/05/2013 04:59:36 200th California condor chick hatches at The Peregrine Fund's captive breeding facility
May 2013. A tiny California condor chick marked a major milestone for The Peregrine Fund. It was the 200th chick to hatch in the conservation group's captive breeding facility since joining the effort to breed endangered condors in 1993.
20 eggs this year
"We are thrilled to reach the 200 mark," said Marti Jenkins, who oversees the condor propagation program. "Every chick takes us one step closer to saving this magnificent species from extinction."
Wild foster parents
"We will be sending at least one more egg out to replace one from a wild nest in California," Jenkins said. "Such swaps promote genetic diversity in a small population and enable this program to be as successful as possible."
The captive breeding process bolsters wild breeding numbers, Jenkins said. This year, Peregrine Fund biologists have observed six wild condor pairs exhibiting incubating behaviours in the rugged canyon lands of northern Arizona.
An intensive condor recovery program began in the early 1980s when the continuing decline of the condor population required drastic measures. By 1982, only 22 condors remained on Earth. The last birds were brought into captivity to launch a breeding program. The first releases to the wild occurred in California in 1992. The Peregrine Fund began raising condors in 1993 and releasing them to the wild in 1996.
Today, there are more than 400 California Condors, with more than half of them flying free in the wild in Arizona, California and Baja, Mexico.