Date: 8/28/20 9:46 pm
From: 'Elizabeth Van Dyke' via mbbirds <mbbirds...>
Subject: [MBBIRDS] California Condor Update
Here are some updates about California Condors and the Dolan Fire that started 08/18/20.

As you’ve probably heard, there are currently ten free-flying California Condors not yet accounted for in the Big Sur Condor Range, plus four nestlings.

Some of this could be because their GPS radio signals or tags have not yet been detected. Radios are on some, but not all California Condors. All the nestlings are 4-5 months old. They fledge around six months so they are of good size.

Among the Condors not yet accounted for is Iniko, hatched on 04/25/20. Iniko was seen alive by the nest cam when the transmission stopped.

In 2008, three California Condor nests were burned over and the three nestlings survived. Phoenix, who survived the 2008 fire was fed by his parents after that fire. Now he is on his own and raising chicks in the wild.

Biologists are optimistic but concerned. Lead poisoning takes out more California Condors per year than fire. A primary concern is replacing the California Condors that carry so much cultural knowledge. Condor pairs will nest again as soon as possible if they lose a chick.

The Dolan Fire started three miles south of the Condor Release Pen site.

There are Condor Cams in the area. One camera pointed to the south and Joe Burnett alerted the fire chief so people in the area could be evacuated.

On 08/19/20, Condors gathered near the Condor Release Pen and drank large amounts of water at a spring there when the fire was less than a mile away. They knew something was up.

On 08/20/20, the fire moved into the canyon containing the Condor Release Pen. No Condors were in the Release Pen when the fire destroyed the pen and a small support building.

Here is a link to the Ventana Wildlife Society web page if you have any questions, would like to keep up to date, make a donation to help rebuild the burned structures, participate in their Annual Online Auction which happened to be scheduled for now, or learn more about California Condor and Bald Eagle recovery, research and education.

Here is a link if you would like to watch the YouTube version of the Condor Fire Update that was held by the Ventana Wildlife Society on 08/27/20.

Elizabeth Van Dyke
Santa Cruz

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