The Peregrine Fund to Release California Condors in the Grand Canyon Area

3 January 1996
The Peregrine Fund has been selected by the Department of the Interior to conduct releases of California Condors in the Grand Canyon area. Today, the Department of the Interior proposed that up to 10 California Condors be released in the wild in April of 1996 in northern Arizona. The young condors to be released will come from the captive propagation facilities at the Los Angeles Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

"We are pleased to put the release expertise we have developed over the past twenty years to use with the California Condor," stated Dr. William A. Burnham, President of The Peregrine Fund. "The Grand Canyon area is an excellent location for the California Condor since it is former habitat and should provide excellent opportunities for public viewing," finished Burnham.

In 1992, The Peregrine Fund was selected by the Department of the Interior as the site for the third captive propagation facility for the California Condor. Ten California Condors arrived in September of 1993 and an additional ten arrived in November of 1994.

The site proposed in northern Arizona, Vermilion Cliffs in Coconino County, is on Federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The area is about 30 miles north of Grand Canyon National Park.

The proposed release is to occur under the Endangered Species Act's "non-essential, experimental population" designation, and would complement efforts by the Fish and Wildlife Service and other Federal, state, and private organizations to return the condors to the wild in southern California.

By declaring the population "non-essential, experimental," the Fish and Wildlife Service can treat condors in the project as "threatened" and develop regulations for management of the population that are less restrictive than mandatory prohibitions covering endangered species. Such flexibility in the Endangered Species Act helps to ensure that reintroduction of protected species can be compatible with current and planned human activities in the project area.

The Peregrine Fund, a Boise, Idaho based non-profit conservation organization primarily responsible for restoration of the Peregrine Falcon in the United States has been asked by the Department of the Interior to manage the Arizona condor release. The Peregrine Fund is also part of the California Condor breeding program along with the San Diego Zoological Society and the Los Angeles Zoo. The Peregrine Fund has extensive experience in releasing endangered species having released over 4,000 birds in their 25 year history. They have developed techniques for release of the Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcons, Harris Hawk, Bat Falcon, Mauritius Kestrel, Aplomado Falcon, Elf Owl, and currently is involved with the releases of Andean Condor in Colombia, South America.

For more information, contact:

Erin Katzner

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