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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

The Conservation Alliance

Condor's Hope

Condor's Hope

                                    California Condors, Zion National Park (credit: NPS)

A California condor chick hatched, survived, and has now taken its first flight in Zion National Park. This special event is a conservation success and was observed by park rangers and visitors. The successful fledging, and re-establishment of other condors elsewhere in Zion, is an example of how the Endangered Species Act, signed by President Richard Nixon in 1973, has proved a success.

According to park managers, condors once flew over much of the Colorado Plateau but by 1982 their total wild population was 22 individual birds. These were captured to begin a captive breeding program run by the Fish & Wildlife Service. Similar programs were begun to recover other endangered species like the peregrine falcon, black-footed ferret, and gray wolf listed as endangered species.

The California condor is a success story. Captive-bred birds were released in California, Baja California, and the Vermillion Cliffs of northern Arizona near the Grand Canyon over the past 30 years. The released condors are successfully breeding in these areas and Zion's fledgling can now be added to the breeding locations. Each young condor slowly increases the wild population in the western United States and offers more hope for the endangered birds.


       California condor chick fledged in Zion National Park (credit: St. George News)




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