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Andean Condor released with satellite transmitter in Ecuador to assist with protection of this rare species

30 May 2014

BOISE, Idaho – For the second time, an Andean Condor with a satellite transmitter on its wing tag was released to the wild in Ecuador so that scientists can collect important data about the movements and behaviors of this rare species.

The first condor to be released with a transmitter in Ecuador was found shot to death in April after just eight months in the field, said Hernan Vargas, director of the Neotropical Science program for The Peregrine Fund, an Idaho-based conservation group.

The Peregrine Fund is working collaboratively with the Ministry of Environment of Ecuador and the Andean Condor Working Group to restore the critically endangered Andean Condor in Ecuador where only about 50 condors remain. Overall, the species is listed as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List.

“After the disappointing loss of Felipe, the first condor, I am hopeful that this young male condor will survive and provide vital scientific information about how to protect these magnificent birds,” Vargas said.

The Minister of Environment of Ecuador, Lorena Tapia, attended the release event on May 21.

“The government has decided that the preservation of this species is not only a strategy, but a comprehensive and ongoing program that involves ecological monitoring, research, and environmental education with all the resources needed to achieve these conservation goals,” she said.

The condor, estimated to be 16 months old, was rescued and released in northern Ecuador. Conservationists hope to collect essential spatial information in this region and in neighboring southern Colombia to complement data gathered previously by Felipe in central and southern Ecuador.

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For more information, contact:

Erin Katzner

Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone: 208-362-3716
Direct Phone: 208-362-8277

Did you know?

  • The Andean Condor is Ecuador’s national bird.
  • It feeds primarily on carrion. In Ecuador, the main food is cattle. Condors have been occasionally observed attacking sick and newborn calves.
  • The Andean Condor is the world’s largest land flying bird with a wing span of more than 10-1/2 feet.
  • Monogamous pairs lay a single egg every other year. The young depend on their parents for more than a year.
  • Andean Condors reach sexual maturity at 8 years and are known to live up to 80 years in captivity.

Additional contact

Hernan Vargas

+593 (22) 443-144

hvargas@peregrinefund.org

The Peregrine Fund