Dozen Condors to Head to Idaho Breeding Facility
VENTURA, Calif. (AP) _ A dozen California condors bred in captivity are being sent to Idaho in the first effort to breed the endangered species in another state.
Six males and six females ranging in age from 2 to 10 years were scheduled to be sent Thursday to the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said.
So far, condors have been bred at the Los Angeles Zoo and the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Those sites are now at capacity with a total of 71 condors.
Birds bred in Idaho will likely be released in Arizona and New Mexico, although some could be sent to California.
Five of eight captive-bred condors reintroduced to the Southern California wilderness last year have survived.
The birds being shipped to Idaho aren’t likely to produce chicks before 1995 or 1996, said Jeff Cilek, program executive of the Peregrine Fund, which operates the center.
The condors, with wingspans of 9 feet, once soared over North America. Their numbers plunged as people encroached on their habitat. Many died of lead poisoning after ingesting lead shot contained in the carcasses of other animals killed by hunters.
The last wild condor was captured in 1987.