For the first time since the 1970s, two California Condors are available for public viewing at the Velma Morrison Interpretive Center at the World Center for Birds of Prey. The California Condor is one of the world's rarest birds with a population of 121 individuals. It is also North America's largest bird with a wingspan of 9 1/2 feet.
The California Condors are in a specially designed chamber in the Gerald D. and Kathryn Swim Herrick Tropical Raptor Building. The species is one of 14 different species visitors can observe at the Velma Morrison Interpretive Center. The Interpretive Center is open to the public every day except Monday.
"As a young girl my father took me to see these magnificent birds fly in the wild. It gives me great pleasure to be part of a program designed to recover the species and to provide the public an opportunity to see them." stated Velma Morrison, a Director of The Peregrine Fund.
"We've found that the more people can interact with endangered species the more support we have recovering the species." stated Gerald D. Herrick, a Director of The Peregrine Fund. "Public viewing was part of the plan when we first became involved with this project in 1992. I am very pleased to see it implemented." finished Herrick.
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.
In 1995 The Peregrine Fund was selected by the Department of the Interior to conduct a release of California Condors on the Vermilion Cliffs near the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. This proposal awaits final Federal approval which is expected in the next few weeks.
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 Falcon, Harris Hawk, Bat Falcon, Mauritius Kestrel, Aplomado Falcon, Elf Owl, and currently are involved with the releases of Andean Condors in Colombia, South America.
For more information, contact:
Director of Global Engagement