Conservation biologists are crowing about the hatching of two highly endangered California condor chicks— one from the wild and another in the wild.
On June 1, scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the condor-breeding programs at two California zoos rescued a pair of eggs from a nest on a remote canyon cliff in California's Los Padres National Forest (SN: 6/9/01, p. 357). Only one of the eggs possessed a live fetus. These eggs were the species' first shot at reproducing in the wild since the mid-1980s.
During the late 1980s, the last remaining wild adults were captured and taken to a pair of zoos, where captive-rearing programs produced a bevy of chicks. A reintroduction program, begun in 1992, has been releasing some of those offspring. The oldest of these birds reached mating age this year. Two of the females mated with a single male and set up a communal nest.