A bad month for condors | Science News


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A bad month for condors

11:16am, July 16, 2001

Last month, a California condor hatched on a remote California cliff (SN: 6/30/01, p. 406 Condor chicks hatch in zoo and wild). It was the first to hatch in the wild since a federal condor-restoration program began repopulating the environment with captive-bred members of this endangered species in 1992. Alas, the chick survived only 2 days.

It had emerged from an egg laid in captivity. Biologists had fooled a now-wild female into thinking it was her own after they removed two damaged eggs from the nest she shared with another female and a male. After tending this new egg through hatching–some 10 days without a break–the famished surrogate mom took wing from the cliff for a meal. She appears to have been emboldened by the return of the second female.

However, it appears that the incoming female was disturbed at finding a chick instead of the egg and expelled this foreign object, says Mike Barth of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a

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