Witness release of magnificent condors into Arizona wilderness
Three endangered California condors will be released to the wild
in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11
a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. The public is welcome to observe the
release from a viewing area where spotting scopes will be set up,
and experts will be available to answer questions.
This will be the 17th public release of condors in Arizona since
the recovery program began in 1996. Condors are hatched and reared
in captivity at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey
in Idaho, Oregon Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal
Park and transported to Arizona for release to the wild.
Currently, 70 condors are flying free in the Grand Canyon region.
The world’s total population of California condors is 399, with 198
of them gracing the skies of Arizona, Utah, California and Mexico.
Condors were reduced to just 22 individuals in the 1980s when a
program was started to save the species from extinction.
Condors were first reintroduced in Arizona in 1996 and conservation
efforts are funded in part by the Heritage Fund, a voter-passed
initiative that provides funding for wildlife conservation with
revenue from Arizona Lottery ticket sales.
Recovery and reintroduction cooperators include The Peregrine Fund,
Arizona Game and Fish Department, Utah Division of Wildlife
Resources, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
To view the condor release, drive north on Highway 89 out of
Flagstaff. Turn left (west) onto Highway 89A toward Jacob Lake and
the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Drive about 40 miles past Marble
Canyon until you turn right onto House Rock Valley Road (BLM Road
1065). Travel about three miles to a shaded viewing area on the
right. On top of the cliffs to your east will be the location where
the condors are released.
For more information on condors, visit www.azgfd.gov/condor.