After an acclimation period of at least six to eight weeks, the young condors will be released in small groups. The public will be invited to view those releases. As information becomes available about the releases, it will be placed on The Peregrine Fund’s Web site at www.peregrinefund.org/whats.html
“This is an exciting time for the project,” stated Dr. William A. Burnham, president of The Peregrine Fund. “Last month’s successful fledging of the first condor chick in the wild in decades is a major step in establishing a viable population in the wild.”
“With the fledging of a wild condor chick, 2003 was truly a historic year in the California condor recovery effort in northern Arizona. We are optimistic that the arrival of these new condors marks the beginning of another great year in the recovery of these remarkable birds,” said Roger Taylor, field manager for the BLM Arizona Strip.
“This has been such a great year for condors and it’s always exciting to get new birds into the program. We are looking forward to these young condors’ successful integration into the wild flock in Arizona,” stated Andi Rogers, California Condor Coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
The historic Arizona reintroduction is a joint project among the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, The Peregrine Fund, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Southern Utah’s Coalition of Resources and Economics, and others. Funding for the project is being provided by The Peregrine Fund, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Peter Pfendler, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund Awards, Steve Martin/Natural Encounters, Grand Canyon National Park Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Grand Canyon National Park, Kearney Alliance, Grand Canyon Trust, Patagonia, Turner Foundation, Globe Foundation, Earth Friends, Arizona Public Service, Wallace Research Foundation, Mattie Wattis Harris Foundation, Arizona Community Foundation, Oracle Corporation, Grand Canyon Conservation Fund, and others.
The California Condors are being released as a “non-essential/experimental population” under provisions of the Endangered Species Act. The act provides that the species can be released in an area without impacting current or future land use planning. However, in Grand Canyon National Park condors are provided full protection as a federally protected endangered species. This authority has been spelled out further in an innovative agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local governments. This “Implementation Agreement” spells out a positive working relationship between the federal government and the various local governments.