This SOS – Save Our Species project, implemented through the San Diego Zoo, will restore the critically endangered California condor to the Sierra San Pedro de Martír of northern Baja California.
The San Diego Zoo team, lead by Dr. Allyson Walsh began releasing captive-hatched condors into these mountains in 2003 and at the start of this project in 2012 had a population of 19 free-flying condors and the beginnings of reproduction activities at the site. The team planned to release four to eight condors annually until the anticipated carrying capacity of 20 pairs is reached.
Given their flight capabilities, Walsh and her team anticipated that reintroduced condors will ultimately range from the Pacific coast to the Gulf of California, as well as northward across the U.S. border, providing an important link to existing reintroduced populations in California and contributing significantly to long-term species recovery goals.
Specific outcomes include: long-term monitoring of released birds as they expand their range, form territories and reproduce, using radio-telemetry and satellite GPS technology, in-depth behavioral research to help conservationists produce the most successful and socially-adept release candidates, scientific capacity-building and educational outreach in local communities.