The California Condor
What it is...
With a wing span of 9 and a half feet, the beloved California condor, scientifically known as Gymnogyps californianus, is the largest flying bird in North America. As an obligate scavenger, they soar over 200 miles a day cleaning the environment of dead carcasses we call carrion.
Why we protect it...
These magnificent birds have been soaring in the skies over North America since mammoths roamed the land. Yet, in 1967 their population had declined enough to warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act.
How you can help...
If you are a parent or teacher, download our CondorKids curriculum, and begin learning how to be a conservation steward for the California condor and the environments we all live in. Provide us feedback, by having students complete Pre and Post Survey. (Spanish survey available on request)
Help feed condors clean carcasses by hunting with non-lead ammunition.
Protect condor chicks by removing trash from the landscape; parents often confuse small pieces of trash for bone fragments they feed their young.
Latest Population Data
As of January 2019, there were nearly 500 California condors living worldwide. Over 300 of these condors are wild and free, living in California, Utah, Arizona, and Mexico. Nearly 200 condors are in Zoos for the captive breeding program, or an inability to survive in the wild.
There were 90 California condor in the Southern California flock at the start of 2019. The US Fish and Wildlife Service and Santa Barbara Zoo manage this flock between the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Maricopa, CA and Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Fillmore, CA.
This flock's range extends from the parts of San Luis Obispo county, down along the Sierra Madre range into Santa Barbara back country, across the transverse ranges of the Los Padres National Forest above Fillmore, and up the Sierra Nevada Range from the Tehachapis into Sequoia National Park. These birds are even beginning to fly just outside of Yosemite National Park!