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Public is Invited to Observe Release of Captive-bred California Condors to the Wild on 6 March in Arizona

Two California Condors will be released to the wild in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m., Saturday, 6 March. The public is welcome to observe the release from a viewing area where spotting scopes will be set up and experts will be available to answer questions. 

This will be the 15th annual public release of condors in Arizona since the recovery program began in 1996. Condors are hatched and reared in captivity at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey in Idaho and transported to Arizona for release to the wild. 

Currently, 74 condors are flying free in the Grand Canyon region. The world's total population of endangered California Condors is 348, with 186 of them in the wild in Arizona, Utah, California, and Mexico. Condors were reduced to just 22 individuals in the 1980s when a program was begun to save the species from extinction.

Recovery and reintroduction cooperators include The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Driving directions: Take Highway 89A from Kanab or Page to the Vermilion Cliffs (from Flagstaff take Highway 89 to Highway 89A). Turn north onto BLM Road 1065 (a dirt road next to the small house just east of the Kaibab Plateau) and continue about 2 miles.
Driving times: From Flagstaff, 2.75 hours; Fredonia, 1 hour; Page, 1.75 hours; Phoenix, 5 hours.
Bring: binoculars, sunscreen, water, snack
Details: Informational kiosk, shade structure and restroom at the site

Did you know?

  • Prior to reintroduction, the last wild condor in Arizona was sighted just south of the Grand Canyon in 1924.
  • Condors reach maturity at about six years of age. They usually produce one egg every other year.
  • The condor is the largest flying land bird in North America. The birds can weigh up to 26 pounds and have a wingspan up to 9 ½ feet.
  • Condors were added to the federal Endangered Species List in 1967.

Notes from the Field

For more information, contact:

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

Additional contact:

Lynda Lambert, Arizona Game and Fish Department, (602) 789-3203
Jeff Humphrey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (602) 242-0210, Ext. 222
Susan Whaley, The Peregrine Fund, (208) 362-8274
Scott Sticha, Bureau of Land Management, (435) 688-3303
Maureen Oltrogge, Grand Canyon National Park, (928) 638-7779
Keith Day, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, (435) 865-6100