“Back from the brink” is a phrase that could describe the comeback from near extinction that many of California’s most iconic wildlife have experienced including sea otters, tule elk, and elephant seals. But few species have come closer to the edge of extinction than the California Condor. Their existence had become so perilous that by 1987 there were no remaining wild condors living in California. But through the dedicated efforts of individuals and organizations across the state there are now more than 50 birds flying free. And while that’s still a dangerously low number, it’s a remarkable recovery in the making.


I’ve had the privilege of telling this story of hope over the years. First with a video I produced for the Ventana Wildlife Society as part of their traveling exhibit. And in a more recent story for with reporter Doug McConnell where we followed up on VWS’s recovery efforts. The future for these magnificent birds is looking bright, but they continue to face threats. Learn more about the condors, the efforts to re-establish them in the wild, and what you can do to help them by exploring these programs and organizations:


Ventana Wildlife Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service California Condor Recovery Program, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Los Angeles Zoo, Oregon Zoo, California Department of Fish and Game, the Peregrine Fund, the Center for Scientific Investigation and Graduate Studies in  Ensenada, La Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAP), National Park Service at Pinnacles National Monument, Santa Barbara Zoo, the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City and many others.