Reintroduce California condors to Northwestern California
The National Park Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Yurok Tribe are partnering to reintroduce California condors in the Bald Hills region of Redwood National Park in Humboldt County, California. NPS, USFWS and the Yurok Tribe are jointly beginning a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process to evaluate a range of alternatives and environmental effects for establishing a condor release facility in the park within the condors' historical northern range and breeding areas and possibly designating these condors as an experimental population.
Due to a number of factors, including lead poisoning, the California condor was close to extinction in the 1980s, reaching an all-time low of 22 individuals. Over the last several decades, conservationists and scientists have committed themselves to saving the condor from extinction and reintroducing birds to the wild. As of December 2015, there were 435 condors both in the wild and in captivity. Although the population of condors is increasing, the birds still face many environmental challenges.
In support of the recovery of this species, for the last decade the Yurok Tribe has spearheaded efforts to reintroduce condors in the Pacific Northwest, a region that North America's largest bird has not occupied in more than a century. Reintroducing a new population of condors into the biologically diverse ecosystem in Redwood National Park and the surrounding area has a very real potential to aid in the species' long-term recovery.
David M. Roemer
Redwood National Park