The California Condor has lived a harrowing existence. A species brought to the brink of extinction by poaching, habitat destruction, and environmental hazards, the remaining
22 wild birds were brought to the San Diego Zoo in 1987. From there, thanks to careful tending and stricter regulations, the condor population has stabilized. Many condors raised in captivity have been released into the wild, with an abundance settling in the Big Sur wilderness.
Beginning on June 12, the Ventana Wildlife Society will take visitors into the heart of one of Big Sur’s more rugged and remote areas to catch glimpses of the elusive and splendid California condor. Despite being the biggest bird species in North America, spotting a condor is rare. Using radio telemetry, guides will track the condors to ensure the two-hour trip is not done in vain–though a venture into Ventana is not to be written off as unexceptional.
Condors remain endangered, and renewed threats to their habitats have once again placed the majestic birds survival in jeopardy. Catching a California Condor Tour in one of North America’s last wild places maybe one of the last opportunities to see these creatures in the wild.
Contact Cathy Hamilton at email@example.com for more information and to sign up for tours. $50/person. Tours are two-hours long and run the 2nd & 4th Sunday of every month, resuming again on June 12. Must sign up at the Salinas office before attending a tour. (831) 455-9514; Fax: (831) 455-2846. http://www.ventanaws.org/membership/eco_experiences.htm.