Native American Tribe Reintroduces Condors to Pacific Northwest for First Time in 100 Years

May 19, 2021 at 12:31 am

The prehistoric birds are bouncing back from a population of only 22 in the 1980s!

California condors once ranged from Canada to Mexico (and all the way to Florida in prehistoric times), but habitat loss/deforestation, pesticide poisoning, and lead poisoning from bullets in the prey they scavenge, have pushed them to the brink of extinction.

In the 1980s, their numbers dropped to a dangerous low of only 22 wild birds worldwide!

Since then, emergency breeding efforts have increased the population to 500 (wild and captive) worldwide. 300 of those are in the Pacific Southwest.

Soon, they will return to the Pacific Northwest as well, thanks largely to the efforts of the Yurok Tribe.

The tribe plans to release the condors in Redwood National Forest this fall. It will be the first time condors fly in the region for more than 100 years.

“As soon as I heard the news, I started crying,” said Tiana Williams-Claussen, director of the Yurok Tribe’s wildlife department. “This is something that I’ve been working for literally my entire adult career.”

The tribe will be working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor the birds and

“Bringing a species like California condor, pregoneesh, back to our ancestral territory … that’s a huge reparation in the wound that the Yurok people and all tribes in this area have suffered since contact and the disruption to our eco-region,” Williams-Claussen said.