They’re just absolutely magnificent when you
see them with their giant wingspan and that enables them to forage very widely so they’re
able to find carcasses that are far away. They’re very effective at scavenging. They’re
completely dependent on scavenging, so they can only eat carcasses that been shot or killed
or died some other way. They are really codependent on hunting and so they need to know where
the intensive hunting areas are if they’re going to succeed on their own and not be fed
and supported by the condor program. They need to be able to figure out how to have
this coexistence with hunting and other types of shooting activities that leave carcasses
out for them. That’s going to be their main food source. When those animals are shot with
lead, the lead fragments quite a bit and condors are exposed when they go to ingest that carcass.
This was a major collaboration with US Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department
of Fish and Wildlife, National Parks Service, Ventana Wildlife Society as well as USGS.
We all worked together to combine data and produce the first ever review of 15 years
of condor field work and health information.