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California condors shot: $55,000 reward for shooters

By Gary Bogue
Friday, April 10th, 2009 at 7:32 am in California condors, Endangered species.

California Condor. Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service/Scott Frier
condor flying

It’s bad enough that California condors are frequently poisoned by lead ammo-killed game, but last month two of the highly endangered birds were themselves found shot full of lead bullets.

The Center for Biological Diversity, determined to bring the perp (perps?) to justice, has established a $30,000 reward … and Santa Barbara’s Wendy P. McCaw Foundation has pledged another $25,000 of the total … after the announcement that biologists found a young female condor with three shotgun pellets lodged in her wing and thigh.

Sadly, this was just three weeks after finding another condor shot full of 15 pellets.

California condor. Photo courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service/Scott Frier

Both birds are still alive but may never return to the wild, and they were also suffering from lead poisoning, which happens when condors scavenge lead bullet-shot game and swallow the lead bullets and pellets

Work by the Center and allies led to California outlawing the use of lead ammunition in the condor’s range — but of course that makes no difference to outlaws.

Unfortunately, shooting and lead poisoning aren’t all the condor’s troubles: The rare bird is also threatened by a development-friendly, misleadingly named “habitat conservation plan” for California’s Tejon Ranch, which contains some of the condor’s most crucial habitat.

In order to develop a luxury mega-resort, the Tejon Ranch Company is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for permission to harm the iconic condor and 25 other rare species that call Tejon Ranch home.

Read more on the condor shootings:

Take action to save condors and other species from development on Tejon Ranch:

Thanks for caring. /Gary

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