The last time a California condor was seen in San Mateo County was in 1904, but just this week, sources are reporting that one has once again been spotted.
The condor, number 597, is known as Lupine, and a motion-activated wildlife camera was able to catch some footage of it landing on private forest property more than 100 miles from where it originated. The owner of the property reported the California condor footage to biologists after discovering it this week.
“Not only is this the first sighting of a condor in San Mateo County in 110 years, but it is an exciting new range expansion into an area that could support condors in the wild,” said Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society. “The coast is really important for condors today because of the abundance of marine mammal carcasses for them to eat, and it will be interesting to see if additional visits by condors to San Mateo or Santa Cruz County occur in the future.”
The California condor was first placed on the endangered species in 1967, and by 1987, only 22 were still remaining in the world. At that point, biologists took those remaining birds and brought them into captivity, thus making them extinct in the wild, but recently, biologists have begun to reintroduce the bird to the world to help them once again expand.
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“It’s very exciting. It shows that we’re on the right track,” said Sorenson. “The population is expanding. They are breeding on their own and they are finding food on their own.”