The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus), or Cóndor californiano in Spanish, is a scavenger and will eat almost any carrion—dead animals—it can find. It prefers a diet of large mammals, such as deer, goats, and sheep, but will feed on smaller mammals like rabbits and coyotes. California Condors were once quite common in San Diego County but were nearly extirpated by 1910 and almost extinct by the 1980s.
By 1982, only 22 California Condors remained. Thanks to breeding programs like those at the Ventana Wildlife Society, today their population numbers in the hundreds and continues to grow. Scientists at the Ventana Wildlife Society are committed to the success of the California Condors. Check out live footage from their Condor Cam and read about their success story.
To learn more about the California Condor, visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region.
PHOTO CREDIT: J. Burns, Pacific Southwest Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife