California Condor (adult), photo by Alex Lamoreaux

California Condors returning to northern CA!

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Mar 25, 2021 | by Alex Lamoreaux

Some very exciting news from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Yurok Tribe – there is a plan to release 4 to 6 juvenile California Condors into Redwood National Park and surrounding areas of northern California each year, starting this fall! For over 100 years, condors have been absent from northern CA and the Pacific Northwest. Captive and natural breeding efforts, reintroduction campaigns, and other conservation measures have had a rocky but overall successful run since the early 1980’s when just 22 remaining wild condors were first taken into captivity. Today the population sits well over 300 birds, with established breeding in California, Utah, Arizona, and Baja California. Reintroduction efforts have primarily focused on central California and Utah, but this new ‘experimental’ program headed by the Yurok Tribe seems like the perfect and logical next step. Vast wilderness areas of old-growth forests and miles of rugged coastline in northern California and southern Oregon provide the ideal range for these massive vultures.

We can’t wait to see these endangered condors soaring back to their former range, and we wish the Yurok people and the USFWS the best of luck with this latest development in the conservation plan for a truly iconic North American bird. In the meantime, here at Wildside, we have 2 tours that dedicate time to finding and observing California Condors in the wild and we’d love to have you along for the show! Our CALIFORNIA: Central Coast trip often sees condors along the Big Sur coast and at Pinnacles National Park (including 28 condors in 2019!) and our short tour, CALIFORNIA: Condors, Scrub-Jay, & LA Exotics dedicates an entire day to searching for condors in Bitter Creek NWR north of Los Angeles.

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