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Health checks for continent’s condors


Cara J

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Twice a year biologists, staff and volunteers at the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge live-capture California condors, part of a remarkable effort to recover North America’s largest, highest-flying, and most endangered land bird. The Interior Department leads a strong multi-entity partnership to aid and protect the birds. Eric Covington (right) secures a condor for tests by USFWS staff and volunteer. ©USFWS Hopper NWR, is 2,471 incredible acres of varied habitats serving as home to several protected species. Adjacent to the 53,000-acre Sespe Condor Sanctuary on the Los Padres National Forest, Hopper helps buffer nesting and roosting areas from human disturbances and offers more foraging habitat.   USDA Wildlife Services recently enjoyed the opportunity to assist in condor medical checks, a program underway since 2007. At Hopper and other field sites in the California Condor Recovery Program, captured birds undergo health checks. Identifying technology (patagial ID tags, VHS transmitters and/or GPS units) are changed when needed. Because lead poisoning is the most common cause of death in condors, the birds’ lead levels are carefully monitored during overall health assessments. Those deemed at risk are taken to the Los Angeles and Oakland Zoos for treatment. Molly Astell, TWS member, and other U.S. Fish [...]

 

Read more: http://wildlife.org/health-checks-for-continents-condors/

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