California Condors Spotted in Sequoia National Park, First Time in Nearly Half a Century


National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working together to support birds’ recovery.

Recently reintroduced endangered California condors continue to reoccupy parts of their historic range, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and adjacent foothills. Condors were seen atop Moro Rock, a popular hiking destination in Sequoia National Park, in late May. They are back to the towering trees and cliffs of the parks after being absent for nearly 50 years.

“Condors were consistently seen throughout the parks until the late 1970s. Observations became increasingly rare throughout the latter portion of the century as the population declined,” Tyler Coleman, a wildlife biologist with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, said. “Four condors were spotted flying near the Giant Forest and at least two near Moro rock.”

National Park Service (NPS) staff weren’t the only ones to notice the birds in the parks.

“We use GPS transmitters to track the birds’ movement, which can be over hundreds of miles on a single day,” Dave Meyer, a California condor biologist with the Santa Barbara Zoo, said. “On this particular day we documented the birds’ signals around Giant Forest, and we are excited that park employees observed the birds and confirmed their use of this important historic habitat.”

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Image via US Fish & Wildlife Service