This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The California Condor Essay

1690 words - 7 pages

In 1986, it was realized that drastic measures would be needed if humans were going to save the California condor form extinction. With only three males remaining in the wild and 22 others left in captivity, an aggressive approach was necessary to save these majestic birds.
Standing at nearly 5 feet tall, weighing up to 31 lbs and with a wingspan of up to 10 feet, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is one of the largest flying birds in Northern America. Surpassed only in weight and wingspan by the Trumpeter (Cygnus buccinator ) and Mute (Cygnus olor ) Swan. The California condor has an average life span of 60 years, with some documented ones surpassing 80 years; it is also one of the longest living birds.
Recognized by its size, bald head and large white patches under their wings, California condors have been worshiped by Native Americans, used for ritualistic sacrifices and its feathers harvested for capes, but it wasn’t until the Europeans settled in the new world did G. californianus start its downfall. “By 1492 the condor was already retreating westward. Its bones were discovered in Florida early on, and recently its former presence in upper New York state was confirmed by Richard Laub of the Buffalo Museum of Science and David Stedman of the New York State Museum. When the '49ers were trekking to California, the condor had retired behind the Rockies, and it survived into the 20th century only in California and Baja California.” (Ehrlich, Dobkin, & Wheye, 1988)
Fossil evidence suggests that the Cathartid (New World) vultures have been around for quite some time with two fossil species dated from the early Oligocene (about 35 million years ago). During the Pliocene and Pleistocene (about 2 million years ago) there was a great radiation of Cathartid vulture species. Though the G. californianus is the sole survivor of the Gymnogyps genus, a possible ancestral fossil of Gymnogyps kofordi has been discovered in Florida, which dates 1 to 1.5 million year-old. The California condor itself dates from Late Pleistocene epoch (around 40,000 years ago) to modern times with its closest living relative, determined by DNA studies, being the larger Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), which is in the same family, but a separate genus.
Habitat and Behavior
The California condor lives in rocky scrubland, forested regions, mountains, canyons and gorges. “The species’ current range includes California’s southern coastal ranges from Big Sur to Ventura County, east through the Transverse Range and the southern Sierra Nevada, with other populations in northern Baja California and in the Grand Canyon ecoregion in Arizona.” (Defenders of Wildlife, 2013)
The California condor uses its keen sight in search of large carcasses, such as deer or cattle, although they have been known to eat the carcasses of smaller animals like rodents and rabbits for food, when necessary. Due to their eating habits and having to reach into dead carcasses for their food, they...

Find Another Essay On The California Condor

The Causes of Illegal Immigration in the US

1796 words - 7 pages provided many examples of effective and non effective drug policies. President Nixon declared a war on drugs during his presidency, and called it the number one security threat to the US, which is significant because this is in the heart of the Cold War. Later in the decade, the Mexican government set forward Operation Condor, which called on the military, both on the ground and in the air, to help with the eradication (of drugs) effort. The US teamed

Endangered Species Act Essay

2945 words - 12 pages are the bald eagle and the condor. The bald eagle was near extinction twenty years ago but has now almost made a full recovery and is soon to be taken off of the Endangered Species List. (Bald Eagle to Leave Endangered List, 1) The condor was so near extinction that one could not even be seen in the wild, all of the breeding had to be done in labs in California. However, condors have made a big rebound and can now be found in California skies

Animal Testing Should Continue

961 words - 4 pages , as it may cause side effects. Furthermore, animal themselves can benefits from the research, as vaccines were tested on animals and cure were found for rabies, distemper, tetanus and anthrax. Animal testing are also the key instruments in saving endangered species from extinction, which includes the black footed ferret, the tamarins of Brazil and the California condor. ( In conclusion, animal experiments has

The Organic Consumers Association and the National Audubon Society

744 words - 3 pages , centers or sanctuaries in 22 states. It has a total reach of over 2 million people, including followers on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Established in 1905, the society is still going strong today. Some of the society’s success stories include the restoration of the Florida Everglades, and the recovery of the California Condor from near extinction. As with the Organic Consumers Association, the National Audubon

The Unrecognizable Role in a Family

1909 words - 8 pages a radical difference in the Joad family to the rest of the world. This dissimilarity in the main characters of the novel is a benchmark of people should be like in the Dust Bowl era. Before the Joad Family began their journey, the individual roles had merely begun to open up, and much of the importance of the characters was not yet realized. Pa Joad is a good, thoughtful man, and he plans the family’s trip to California with great care and

Pearl Harbor: Aftermath

2661 words - 11 pages to negligence that they were able to sneak on the base. According to the National Geographic, the U.S. minesweeper Condor spots a periscope in the water near the Harbor. The Condor sent a blinker-light message to the U.S. destroyer Ward about the sighting. Lieutenant William W. Outerbridge ordered for Ward to start firing and confirmed the sinking of the submarine. A few hours later, more than 50 aircrafts were sighted through the newly

Increasing Security at The Mexican American Border

3791 words - 15 pages is in the heart of the Cold War. Later in the decade, the Mexican government set forward Operation Condor, which called on the military, both on the ground and in the air, to help with the eradication (of drugs) effort. The US teamed up effectively with Mexico at the time, and by sharing intelligence and cross border law enforcement effectively hampered the drug trade. Operation Condor was the first time that surveillance technology was used in

An Overview of Arizona's Glen Canyon Recreational Area

1755 words - 7 pages deposited this sediment on to the beaches. Since the Glen Canyon dam has been operational about 95% of the sediment has successfully been removed and there has virtually been no more natural flooding.Many supporters of maintaining the dam argue that the Grand Canyon now has lush green vegetation along the river corridor, supporting many species of birds and insects to include the endangered California Condor and Southwest Willow Flycatcher. They

America’s Preservation System: A Wilderness Bill of Rights by William O. Douglas

2094 words - 9 pages the wetlands provided to the government today are a result of private organizations like California Waterfowl Association and Ducks Unlimited. These associations are made up of waterfowl hunters who are the most concerned with the conservation of the wetlands, since the land is basically provided by the hunters. There is another bird that, like the bald eagle, has been nearly extinct for a very long time. It is the California condor, are there are

The Government and Environmental Policy

1677 words - 7 pages for the human race including medical uses, research purposes, andatmospheric contributions- namely oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. The act also sets aside land to protectendangered species. For example, many acres of old growth forest have been set aside in an effort to preserve theNorthern spotted owl. So far, the act has been successful in helping to re-establish populations of the Americanalligator, the California condor, the Black

Pearl Harbor

1702 words - 7 pages , which would certainly move the U.S. to declare war. ("Naval history &," 1991) It was a calm and beautiful day, December 7, 1941. There was hardly a cloud in the sky on the island of Oahu. ("Weather played role," 2011) The minesweeper Condor is about 2 miles away from the entrance to Pearl Harbor when it spots a periscope in the water. The U.S. destroyer Ward moves into position to destroy the unknown submarine at 6:45am local time. Almost

Similar Essays

Guernica's History Essay

1086 words - 4 pages been slaughtered in such numbers, and by such means (Wertenbaker 1967). During the Spanish Civil War Franco's army was often assisted by Germany. The Nazi General Goering's policy was to use the Spanish Civil War as an arena for trying out the airmen and planes of his new Luftwaffe . The Condor Legion was headed by Wolfram Von Richthofen, the cousin of the near mythical Red Baron of the First World War. Von Richthofen was eager to create his

Fracking Or Hydraulic Fracturing Essay

968 words - 4 pages . Fracking opens access to huge fossil fuel deposits that were once beyond the distance of drilling. Animals and wildlife are also a huge impact when it comes to fracking. Extinct species like the California Condor, the San Joaquin kit fox and the leopard lizard live in places where fracking is likely to expand over time. (Hydraulic “Fracking”). These species can be in danger and executed in many ways by the fracking process and the industrial

The Attack On Pearl Harbor Essay

1246 words - 5 pages training for this moment for years now, expecting it everyday. We failed when the day actually came: (Pearl Harbor Remembered)An early Sunday morning attack cannot be our excuse for not being ready. At 3:40 in the morning the USS Condor was on duty when they saw a periscope jutting up from the open water. This was our first sign of what was to come. The crew immediately reported it to headquarters. It took an astonishing 3 hours for the message to

The Challenges Of Rewilding Essay

1084 words - 5 pages falcon (Falco peregrinus). Falcons from four continents served as a collective proxy for the midwestern peregrine population that became extinct in the 1960s. And it resulted in successful breeding despite substantial morphological and ecological variation among the extant population. To cite an advantageous example that could derive from the many reintroductions envisioned by Pleistocene rewilders, the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus