- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Californian condor not extinct yet, but still regularly poisoned by lead
The image above, which may be the worst photo of a Californian condor ever taken, was the best shot I snapped during a four-hour condor-watching trip in 2010. But even this grainy image is important, for it captures one of the 405 last Californian condors in the world.
By 1982, there were just 22 Californian condors left in the world, and all of them were in captivity. An intense captive breeding programme began, and it has been an apparent success. There are currently around 400 birds, more than half of which fly free and wild.
But this might be a pyrrhic victory. Finkelstein has now shown that the condor’s fate is far from certain. Even though we have brought it back