11 Stories

Rangers Want No More 'Love Locks' at Grand Canyon

People are putting padlocks on fencing, then throwing the key into the canyon, a risk to wildlife

(Newser) - If you love Grand Canyon National Park's wildlife, set it free, rangers ask—more or less. They say the trend of putting padlocks on park fencing and throwing the keys or coins, even, from the rim as an expression of affection for someone endangers wildlife, Fox Weather reports. "...

Vaccine Approved as Bird Flu Kills Endangered Condors

California condors will be given vaccine after pilot safety study in vultures

(Newser) - As avian influenza continues to wreak havoc, a vaccine has been granted emergency approval for use on California condors. Authorities worry bird flu could wipe out the critically endangered species, having killed more than a dozen of them already, the AP reports. There are fewer than 350 in the wild,...

Man Who Started Fire That Killed Condors Gets 24 Years

2020 California fire nearly killed 14 firefighters

(Newser) - A man who started a 2020 wildfire that killed 12 endangered California condors and seriously injured a firefighter has been sentenced to 24 years in state prison. Ivan Gomez, 31, was sentenced Wednesday by a Monterey County judge for setting the Big Sur Dolan fire while illegally growing marijuana in...

Researchers Document First Virgin Births by Condors
Genetic Testing
Confirms Condors'
Virgin Births
new study

Genetic Testing Confirms Condors' Virgin Births

Parthenogenesis has been documented in other species, but not this one

(Newser) - Endangered California condors can have "virgin births," according to a new study. Researchers with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance said genetic testing confirmed that two male chicks hatched in 2001 and 2009 from unfertilized eggs were related to their mothers. Neither was related to a male. The...

Rare Giant Condors Settle In at House

15 to 20 endangered birds arrived uninvited, caused damage

(Newser) - Giant California condors are rare—but not at Cinda Mickols' home. About 15 to 20 of the giant endangered birds have recently taken a liking to the house in the city of Tehachapi and made quite a mess, the AP reports. Mickols' daughter, Seana Quintero of San Francisco, began posting...

For Half a Century, This Photo Was Impossible
For Half a Century, This
Photo Was Impossible
in case you missed it

For Half a Century, This Photo Was Impossible

California condors have finally returned to Sequoia National Park

(Newser) - Sequoia National Park is celebrating "an important milestone": the return of California condors for the first time in almost 50 years. The largest land bird in North America long ago occupied the Sierra Nevada mountains, where giant sequoia trees provided ideal cavities for nests. But there were only 22...

Great News for Birds Once Nearly Driven to Extinction

Chick No. 1K arrives for California condors

(Newser) - To say California condors were on the brink of extinction in the 1980s is not hyperbole. A grand total of 22 lived in the wild, which makes a new milestone all the more remarkable. Researchers say chick No. 1,000 has hatched in Utah's Zion National Park, reports Smithsonian ...

In Andean Bullrings, Bulls Fight ... Condors

Annual tradition pits heaven against earth

(Newser) - If you thought humans against bulls was an alarming tradition, check out how they do it in Peru: condors against bulls. The cross-species fight is part of an annual Andean festival known as the Yawar Fiesta, or Blood Festival, in which wild condors are tied to the bulls' backs, then...

Calif. Judge Steps Up Protection for 40 Species

Feds not doing enough for wildlife in national forests, judge rules

(Newser) - Endangered birds, fish, frogs, butterflies, and even a species of sea lion are set to benefit from a judge's ruling that federal authorities need to do more to protect some 40 species in southern California's national forests. The judge ordered three federal agencies to "take all necessary...

$40K Reward Offered for Condor Shooter

Green groups hire private eye to probe California attack

(Newser) - Environmental groups probing the shotgun shooting of two California condors have hired a private eye and raised $40,500 in reward money for information leading to the culprits, the Los Angeles Times reports. The condors—two of just 81 in California and 322 in the world—were found last month...

Condors Pulled From Calif. Fires

Calif. wildlife group moves to protect rare birds

(Newser) - Wildfires in Northern California spurred the rescue of eight California condors from their Monterey County refuge, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The unusual operation was performed by a US Coast Guard helicopter crew after a wildlife organization said that the fires threatened the condor sanctuary. The birds were taken to...

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