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(Mercury News)   San Mateo County, CA. announces first sighting of endangered California Condor since 1904. County wildlife officials promise the public they will do everything in their power to kill the bird once again   ( divider line
    More: Spiffy  
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2620 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jun 2014 at 7:50 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-06-14 09:38:41 AM  
1 vote:

The Smails Kid: The main threat to condors continues to be poisoning from ingesting lead while eating dead animals shot by hunters.
[citation needed]

Abstract: The remnant wild population of California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) of the 1980s exhibited a rapid population decline caused by high mortality rates among adult and immature birds. The most prominent mortality factor was lead poisoning resulting from ingestion of bullet fragments in carcasses. Successful captive breeding has allowed many birds to be released to the wild since 1992, based originally on an assumption that exposure to lead could be prevented by food subsidy. The mortality of released birds, however, has generally exceeded levels needed for population stability calculated from simple population models. Collision with overhead wires was the most frequent cause of death in releases before 1994. Lead poisoning again surfaced as a problem starting in 1997 as older birds began feeding on carcasses outside the subsidy program. Although poisonings have been treated successfully by chelation therapy in recaptured birds, food subsidy is proving an ineffective solution to lead exposure. The best long-term solution appears to be either the creation of large reserves where hunting is prohibited or the restriction of hunting to nontoxic ammunition in release areas. Until sources of lead contamination are effectively countered, releases cannot be expected to result in viable populations. In addition, problems involving human-oriented behavior have resulted in the permanent removal of many released birds from the wild. The most promising reduction in human-oriented behavior has been achieved in one release of aversively conditioned, parent-reared birds. Rigorous evaluation of the factors reducing attraction to humans and human structures has been hampered by confounding of techniques in releases. Behavioral problems could be more quickly overcome by adoption of a comprehensive experimental approach.

Demography of the California Condor: Implications for Reestablishment
Vicky J. Meretsky,
Noel F. R. Snyder,
Steven R. Beissinger,
David A. Clendenen and
James W. Wiley
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2001
DOI: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.99113.x
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