Second Condor Shot;
$30,000 Reward Posted for Capture of Shooter
SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity has established a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who recently shot two California condors. Although both condors remain alive, it is uncertain whether either will ever be able to return to the wild.
“These are senseless crimes, and we are hopeful that the establishment of this reward will help investigators find the person or people responsible,” said Adam Keats, director of the Center’s Urban Wildlands Program. “Shooting these birds hurts us all — from the folks who have worked so hard to bring the condor back from the brink of extinction to everybody who has ever seen one of these giant birds soaring in the California sky.”
The Wendy P. McCaw Foundation of Santa Barbara has pledged $25,000 of the total reward, which was posted after the California Department of Fish and Game announced that biologists found a juvenile female condor, “#375,” suffering from lead poisoning and with three shotgun pellets lodged in her wing and thigh. This discovery came just three weeks after biologists found condor “#286” with 15 shotgun pellets lodged in its body. Both condors were part of the flock located near Big Sur and the central coast of California .
“These are the actions of a depraved individual who should be brought to justice,” said Adam Keats. “The California condor is a powerful symbol of the wild — one our children and grandchildren deserve to experience as more than a footnote to history.”
The California condor is listed as an endangered species and is protected by both federal and state law. Condors were in decline most of the 20th century, dipping as low as 25 birds in the mid-1980s. Since then, a valiant captive-breeding effort has seen condors released in Pinnacles, Big Sur, and southern California near the Tehachapi Mountains . More than 85 condors now fly free in California skies. Condors have also been released in Arizona and Baja California in Mexico .
Condors proved particularly susceptible to lead poisoning, which they get from the ingestion of lead fragments from hunter-shot lead ammunition. In response to this, California mandated the use of non-lead ammunition in all condor range in 2008.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 916-414-6660 or the California Department of Fish and Game’s CalTIP Program at 1-888-dfg-caltip.
More information on the California condor is available at: www.savethecondors.org.