5/12/2012 11:01:00 AM From the brink of extinction Condor recovery
Northern Arizona is one of four release sites in the California condor recovery program, which for the past 25 years has sought to bring these large scavenger birds back from the brink of extinction. Historically, condors ranged from British Columbia to northern Mexico, but because of their vulnerability to environmental hazards and their low birth rate, the world population had dwindled to only 22 by 1982. These birds formed the basis of a captive breeding program that has boosted their numbers to over 300. About 130 of those have been released at sites in Arizona, Mexico and California, and since 2003, condors at Grand Canyon have successfully bred in the wild - an event that had not happened here for decades. The 60 or so condors in the skies over Arizona frequently visit the South Rim, inspiring awe with their grace and the sound of the wind through wings spanning nine to 11 feet. Condor talks are generally held daily by a ranger. Check the park newspaper The Guide for details. You can also learn more about condors on the Web at www.peregrinefund.org.