Four California condors to be relocated

Four condors that were born in the Chapultepec Zoo will be transferred to the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, in Baja California, during the early hours of this Thursday, as part of the Mexico-United States Binational Recovery and Conservation Program of the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), announced Marina Robles García, Secretary of the Environment of Mexico City.

“We said goodbye to four of the condors that were born in the Chapultepec Zoo, four condors that we will take to the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, to an aviary there, which is part of the binational program between Mexico and the United States to be able to open an opportunity to this species that was considered extinct, extirpated in Mexico in 1939 and Mexico joined this program from the year 2002”.

Robles García expressed his joy at the transfer of these specimens, which will begin an adaptation process in an aviary that is in San Pedro Mártir to later reintroduce them to wildlife; He stressed that the transfer is a reflection of the effort made by zoos to avoid the species extinction.

“It is a farewell that makes us very happy, it is part of a reflection that shows the importance of the work of zoos for the conservation of species. The work of zoos in the world has allowed 25 percent of wild species that were at imminent risk of extinction, a condition like the one experienced by California condors, to change their status and today they are in clear recovery ”.

The General Director of Zoos and Wildlife Conservation, Fernando Gual Sill, added that the California condor was on the verge of extinction a few years ago, but “thanks to the collaboration between zoos in Mexico and the United States, its reintroduction has been achieved and the establishment of a population of between 45 and 50 condors in the Sierra from San Pedro Mártir, in Baja California, going from the category “Probably extinct in the wild” to “In danger of extinction”.

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As a result of the reproduction work under human care at the Chapultepec Zoo to prevent the extinction of the California condor, two condors that were born in 2019 will be transferred by name: MAAU –(paternal grandmother in Kiliwa language) and KUAPP (butterfly in Kiliwa language); in addition to two others who were born in 2021, named KURI-KURI (traditional song ceremonies of Yumanos peoples) and TRIQUI (indigenous people language of Baja California and other regions of Mexico).

“The Chapultepec Zoo is the only one in Mexico that is participating in the reproduction of this species, to later reintroduce it to wildlife. So far, the zoo has contributed 11 offspring to the program, four of them will travel tomorrow and two, which are still very small, will move to the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir until the following year”, added Gual Sill.

He argued that the essence of Mexico-United States Binational Recovery and Conservation Program of the California condor is that all offspring born under human care at the zoo be moved to the release zone in Baja California.

The transfer will be carried out through the collaboration of various institutions and the support of personnel from Sedema, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and the government of the State of Baja California, among others, who support various activities aimed at the conservation of this species.

Dr. José Eduardo Ponce Guevara, director of Conanp Conservation Project Monitoring Strategies, also highlighted the collaboration between governments and institutions, since it reflects the efforts to conserve threatened species.

“It is an emblem that contributes to the recovery of species, in this case the California condor.”

The reintroduction process begins with the transfer of the condors to the pre-release aviary in San Pedro Mártir, which they will share with an adult condor who will be the “mentor” of these four young condors and will teach them to survive in the wild, so that, later, , can be reincorporated into their natural habitat within a few months.

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