(KERO) — The recent discovery of half a dozen baby California condors is a promising indicator that the endangered species is making a comeback.
The Big Sur area was formerly home to a sanctuary dedicated to preserving the birds until a wildfire last fall severely damaged the facility. In the aftermath of the Dolan Fire experts say the Central Coast lost ten condors and two chicks. For a population of fewer than 100 birds in the state, the loss was devastating.
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Fortunately, the condor population has a few new additions.
"This year, we have six chicks in wild nests, and we have seven condors from captivity that will be released this year," said Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society. "And despite ten losses this year, we are still a little bit ahead of the game this year."
While things look good so far condors face the constant threat of ingesting lead ammunition. Sorenson says that lead poisoning accounts for over half of condor deaths.