What you can do

Condor Watch: The California condor is a critically endangered species and the population is suffering from the effects of lead poisoning. By tracking the location and social behavior of the animals we can better detect early warning signs of the illness.
ACTION: Go to CondorWatch.org. Here you will find a citizen science project where volunteers can review online photographs of condors to help detect behavioral issues. You will look at photographs of condors taken by at feeding sites by motion-activated cameras. Using the online system to record the tag number of condor's seen in the images, your input will help biologists judge if specific birds exhibit eating or social problems. Behavior issues can reveal injuries or lead poisoning.

Volunteer to monitor condor nests: The Santa Barbara Zoo partners with the US Fish & Wildlife Service to enable voluteers in monitoring of California condor nest in the wild.
ACTION: Join athe nest monitoring program

Spread the word: The number one challenge to the recovery of the California condor is lead ammunition. Condors and other birds scavenge on animal remains left in the field by hunters. If the animal was shot with a lead bullet, fragments of lead will occur in the carcass.

Lead fragments in the neck of a hunter shot deer

Alternative ammunition is now widely available in most calibers and aware hunters have embraced the opportunity to be a part of the solution that the non-lead bullet provides. Speaking up and driving awareness of this issue in your community can go a long way towards saving the lives of countless scavengers including our national symbol, the bald eagle. Below are some resources to help spread the word.

Understand how lead impacts the condor:

Andy McBride, who is both a gun hunter as well as master-class falconer, Vickie Joseph, DVM of the California Foundation for Birds of Prey and Omar Cabrera, DVM explain the pathway of exposure and the effects lead exposure in birds of prey.

Lead Exposure and Birds of Prey - CA Foundation For Birds of Prey.

Understand how lead impacts the condor:
Bruce Rideout, Ph.D. DVM, Zoological Society of San Diego on Lead Exposure in the California Condor

Hunting With Non-Lead

A valuable website with a rich tapestry of information on hunting with non-lead ammunition: www.huntingwithnonlead.org

Alternatives to lead Ammunition Information Poster - PDF

Hazards of Lead Ammunition Information Poster - PDF

The Non-Lead Hunter - A 24 Min. Hunter Outreach Film

The Non-Lead Hunter from Anthony Prieto on Vimeo.

Limited quantities of The Non-Lead Hunter is available on DVD. The DVD contains both English and dubbed Spanish version of the film. Please send us a note with your mailing address if you would like to recieve a copy.

Research Articles

Collection of literature related to lead exposure in wildlife - Online Link

Impact of the California Lead Ammunition Ban on Reducing Lead Exposure in Golden Eagles and Turkey Vultures - Online link

Condor Recovery Programs

The very first endangered species recovery effort commenced after the passage of the ESA of 1973, the California Condor Recovery Program has enjoyed contributions from a broad range of organizations. Below are links to the conservation programs working on behalf of the condor today. Many of these offer volunteer opportunities and ways that you can participate in a meaningful way.

Condor Reintroduction Sites

Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, Ventura County
(Closed to the public but offers tours on an occassional basis)

Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Kern County
(Closed to the public but offers tours on an occassional basis)

Vermillion Cliffs, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Sierra San Pedro de Martir National Park, Baja California

Pinnacles National Park

Ventana Wilderness Society, Big Sur, California
A great place to see condors predictably along the dramatic Big Sur coast. VWS offers education programs and innovative ways to see and learn about condor recovery.

California Condor Timeline

(Click to enlarge)

Condor's Shadow Infographic


Condor Information & Research

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Species Profile for California condor

National Audubon Society: California Condor

Audubon: California’s Important Bird Areas Program

BirdLIfe species fact sheet California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus)

UC Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

Ventana Wilderness Society - Big Sur Condor Field Notes

Defenders of Wildlife California Condor