Yves here. I must confess that even though I knew that the California condor was endangered due to lead poisoning (the perils of being high on the food chain), I had no idea their numbers had collapsed so far. As you’ll see, it’s been a long-term, concerted effort to preserve the condor and the Yuroks have played a crucial role.
By Sharon Levy, the author of “The Marsh Builders,” and “Once and Future Giants: What Ice Age Extinctions Tell Us About the Fate of Earth’s Largest Animals.” She’s written for Nature, New Scientist, BioScience, and Undark, among other outlets. Originally published at Undark
Top: A California condor at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Visual: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
The first California condor to reach Yurok ancestral land in over a century arrived by plane and car in late March of 2022. The small plane that carried