The Santa Barbara Zoo is a partner in the heroic effort to save California condors in the wild.
The California condor was the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1967. By 1987, the entire wild population had been reduced to 22 wild birds, which were taken into captivity to form the nucleus of today’s California condor recovery program. The first birds were reintroduced into the wild in 1992.
Intensive monitoring of each wild condor nest allows SB Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and partner organizations to administer emergency aid to chicks in need.
After administering vaccinations to a 60-day old wild chick in its nest, a Santa Barbara Zoo vet ascends a sheer cliff face.
By picking up small trash items in the wilderness, Santa Barbara Zoo staff and volunteers prevent condors from unwittingly feeding these items to their chicks.
California Condors at the Zoo
With the opening of California Trails on Earth Day 2009, the Santa Barbara Zoo became one of a handful of zoos to exhibit these highly endangered scavengers – the largest land birds in North America, with wingspans topping 9½ feet.
Condor Nest Camera
Get up close and personal with an endangered California condor chick on this live-streaming nest cam direct from the remote mountains near Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Ventura County, California.