New, unexpected California Condor chick demonstrates slow success of species’ reintroduction

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Daily Dose of Science Blogs

I have gotten busy enough with the start of a new semester that I haven’t posted all the science news I have saved in over a week.  For now, I will do some briefer entries just so I can get through some of them.

The California Condor used to be so close to extinction that only a few individuals were left in captivity in the 1980s.  Biologists tried a reintroduction program in 1997  after successfully breeding them in captivity, and there are now 116 wild condors in California – a remarkable feat.  There are still so few condors that biologists try to monitor each one in the wild, so they were surprised when they found a 9-month old chick that they had not previously known about.  What makes this particularly amazing is that this was only the third successful mating of condors in the wild since their reintroduction.

Good luck, California condor chick!

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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.