Experts Say: This critically endangered Californian bird can reproduce without mating


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Despite extensive urbanization, California has one of the most diversified plants and animal populations in the United States. In this article, we will talk about an endangered Californian bird that seems to be reproducing without the need for a mating partner.
Image for representational purpose onlyPhoto by Eve Maier on Unsplash

As per the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California condor is one of the most endangered bird species on the planet. It was declared extinct in the wild due to heavy hunting in the 1980s but has since been reintroduced through breeding and other conservation efforts.

The remaining California Condors were captured and kept in San Diego and Los Angeles Zoos for breeding purposes in order to increase the population, after which they have been released back into the wild as their number has begun to improve. However, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife still lists the species as critically endangered.

California is home to over 300 endangered species, ranging from delta smelt to Mojave Desert birds. One of these species is the California Condor, which was added to the list of endangered Californian species by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1967. However, a new study has discovered that California Condors can reproduce without the need for a companion.

During a routine examination of biological samples from the California condors in the zoo's decades-long breeding program, conservation scientists at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance discovered that two condor chicks had been born from unfertilized eggs as the scientists confirmed that each condor chick was genetically related to its mother but neither bird was genetically related to a male.

This was an uncommon case of asexual reproduction in birds, especially in wild species. Cynthia Steiner, associate director of the Sand Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's conservation research division, told Reuters that both chicks were underweight when they hatched. One was released into the wild and died in 2003 at the age of two, while the other was kept in captivity for eight years and died in 2017.

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Endangered birdCalifornia CondorsWildlifeCalifornia Condors can reproduExperts say

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Saurabh is a Computer Science & Engineering undergraduate student pursuing his writing interests. He enjoys researching current events/news as well as Evergreen Topics and has also been writing on Medium, Quora and Vocal.

Los Angeles County, CA

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