California Condor

Soaring into the Future: Innovative Strategies for California Condor Conservation

Myra Finkelstein, Ph.D.

Tue, Oct 08, 2024 7:00 PM

Using over 20 years of data on the reintroduced flocks of California Condors in California, conservation biologists have unveiled a comprehensive strategy to promote the recovery of this iconic bird. The California Condor is one of a growing number of species considered conservation reliant, meaning they need active (and costly) management efforts to stave off extinction in the wild.

Dr. Myra Finkelstein will describe the main findings from the team’s latest research, published in the journal Biological Conservation, in which Condor biologists and managers collaborated to predict Condor population futures under different management strategies. The team’s simulation models highlighted a bright spot for the largest bird in North America. Unlike many conservation-reliant species that will need human help indefinitely, California Condors can transition to self-sustainability with the successful implementation of just one action, the societal switch to non-lead ammunition.

Specifically, Dr. Finkelstein will discuss how to i) maximize Condor captive breeding resources, ii) offset the mortality of adult Condors and iii) buffer the threat of catastrophic events (e.g., wildfire, disease). Overall, the team’s recent research underscores the indispensable role of captive-bred releases in growing the wild Condor population in California. Freeing these Condors from being forever conservation reliant, however, will require an additional release — from the weight of lead-related mortality. Join Dr. Finkelstein as she discusses the preservation of this iconic species.

The livestream can be found at our YouTube channel.