How Can We Help Protect the California Condor?

By Terra Peninsular

This article was translated by Amairani Márquez and Manuel Eduardo Mendoza

The California condor (Gypnogyps californianus) is a carrion-eater bird that was close to the brink of extinction and in our country was extinct for several years; thanks to the joint effort between the United States and Mexico IT was successfully reintroduced in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir.

Photo: Mercedes Vega.

People who will visit the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir National Park can follow some recommendations to help this species.

The recommendations are:

  • Do not litter, as the condors confuse it with food and cause the death of their chicks.
  • Avoid being near or feeding the condors.
  • Hunters should not use lead-based pellets. Condors are carrion-eaters birds and if they feed on an animal that was injured by lead pellets, they would die from poisoning.
  • Do not use poisons to kill animals.
  • When observing a condor, take a picture and write down the number that it brings in the wing since this information can be shared with the park rangers.
Photo: Alejandro Arias.

The function of the condor is to keep clean the ecosystem of infectious diseases that scatter dead animals. The California condor is the largest terrestrial bird in North America and can measure up to 3 meters with wings extended, lays an egg every two years and can live up to 60 years.

The Terra Peninsular is part of the California Condor and Golden Eagle Monitoring Committee, and in 2007 participated in the program with which it was possible to reintroduce 10 condors in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir. The reintroduction was made through collaboration with the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE in Spanish), the National Institute of Ecology and the San Diego Zoo.