For the first time since 1892, endangered California condors took flight over the coastal redwood forests along the state’s northern coast.
A collaboration between the Yurok Tribe, the National Parks Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service released two captive-bred condors into the wild in an attempt to restore the threatened birds to their former habitat. Yurok Tribe wildlife department director Tiana Williams-Claussen who spearheaded the efforts to reintroduce the California condor to the northern part of its range said:
This is just incredible, exciting times. The birds play an important role as large animal scavengers and are sacred figures in Yurok culture. The tribe will monitor the birds around the clock as they get settled into their new environment. The release of these condors marks the beginning of the tribe's goals to bring a sustainable flock back to the region. We will be releasing four to six condors every year for the next twenty years.
California condors, one of the largest flying birds in the world, were in plenty across Western North America in habitats as diverse as the arid scrubland of Southern California to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. But by the 1980s, the global condor population had dropped to a mere 27 birds, decimated by hunting and poisoning.
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