Both the rare Harpy Eagle and the highly endangered California Condor took steps towards recovery with the successful hatching of an egg of each species on 19 March 1998 at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey.
"We've done a lot over the past 28 years, but this is the first time we have hatched a Harpy Eagle and California Condor on the same day," stated Dr. William Burnham, President of The Peregrine Fund. "We look forward to returning these rare birds to the wild later this year."
The Harpy Eagle which hatched is the fifth chick to hatch and survive at the facility in Boise and only the ninth to hatch and survive in North America. The other four were hatched at the San Diego Zoo. All nine birds were produced over the last four years.
The young Harpy Eagle hatched after a 54-day incubation period. The chick is being kept in seclusion in a brooder at the World Center. Biologists will send it to our release site in Panama when it is approximately five months old . The two eagles which are currently being released at this site represent the first captive-produced Harpy Eagles to be released back to the wild.
The Harpy Eagle is a flagship for the conservation of life's diversity in the lowland rainforests of Latin America. It is one of the first species to be extirpated from altered habitats. As one of the least known species of large predators, there is considerable interest in its role in conserving the ecosystem.
The California Condor egg which hatched represents the third egg of this endangered species to hatch outside of the State of California since the 1930s when a small population of condors still occurred in Baja California, Mexico.
California Condors are also being propagated at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. The young condor at the World Center is expected to join other young from the two zoos and be released to the wild in Arizona as part of an overall recovery program for the species being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The release program on the Vermilion Cliffs in Arizona passed an important milestone with the last release. There are now more California Condors in the wild then there were when the last free-flying condor was captured in 1987.
Our award-winning web site has updates from our biologists working at the Harpy Eagle release in Panama and the California Condor release in Arizona. The "Notes from the Field" may be seen at http://www.peregrinefund.org.
The Peregrine Fund was founded in 1970 at Cornell University in response to the catastrophic decline of the Peregrine Falcon throughout much of North America. The efforts to save this species resulted in breakthroughs in the field of endangered species research. In addition to the Peregrine Falcon, Harpy Eagle, and California Condor, The Peregrine Fund is involved with conservation projects around the world with species such as the Philippine Eagle, Aplomado Falcon, Mauritius Kestrel, Orange-breasted Falcon, `Alala or Hawaiian Crow and Hawaiian forest songbirds, and other species. In addition, The Peregrine Fund has numerous other programs around the world that focus on preserving endangered environments (e.g. forests, wetlands, etc.) and improving local people's conservation ability.
For more information, contact:
Director of Global Engagement