Since 2003, Habitat
has collected 3,431 pounds of high-grade Condor Microtrash from critically identified areas known to be
frequented by wild condor parents.
contents of a 4-month old
California Condor chick
that died in the nest, June, 2006.
Sespe Condor Sanctuary, Los Padres NF
It's all bout the little stuff.
A tailgate loaded with micro-trash at
the end of a great day.
Condor over the San Fernando Valley
Condors observing humans
you for the two great outings that Woody
and I worked on. You [offered] a condor cleanup
where a ten-year-old boy and his grandfather
could work for a few hours and know they had
done something to help the condor.
It was a good feeling and Woody and I gloried in it."
Hughes, Sierra Club, Honorary Vice President
is condor microtrash and why does it threaten condors?
everywhere, but for condors, some it if is deadly.
kind of trash that impacts condors is microtrash, usually smaller than a quarter. It's generally composed of
bottle caps, bullet casings and slugs, pull tabs, broken glass, cigarette butts,
construction droppings, plastic bits and bags,
tape and the like.
Although microtrash can be found in
many places, it is especially threatening in areas of
interest to condors, usually mountain top areas with significant
updraft, where condors love soar and play. These same areas have been historically attractive to humans
too, for target
practice, youth and lovers hangouts, as well as communication or lookout
Condors don't seek trash at dumps.
Microtrash is not campground,
stream or roadside trash such as diapers, picnic trash, or piles of abandoned
household items. The
picture at top left is condor microtrash.
intelligent, naturally playful, curious
and habitual. At
special mountain-top hangouts, condors collect microtrash and take
it back to the nest where it is unintentionally regurgitated
with food for their nestling. Once ingested by a delicate chick,
the trash can obstruct their gastro-intestinal tract and/or cause metal poisoning.
Biologists are not sure of the exact reason
condors are drawn to microtrash, but they are taking steps
to distract these majestic birds from the habit.
On Location with the Condors is
an invitation to you, your families and friends to come out and collect
microtrash from critical areas known to be frequented by condor
on the Angeles and Los Padres National Forest.
This effort is making a difference!
In the fall of 2004, the Condor Recovery Program boasted its
first successful wild fledgling in Southern California, and another chick fledged in the fall of 2006!
In 2007, FOUR chicks fledged, and there have been successful nests
every year since.
Condor parents generally mate for
life, select nesting
sites in mid-winter, and their single egg hatches in February or
March. Chicks receive food from their parents in the nest
for 7-10 months(!) and fledge in the fall. They
remain associated with their parents in the wild for two years,
during which their parents do not produce another chick.
We'd love to have
you join us in the effort to improve habitat conditions for
endangered California Condors. Look for microtrash
clean-ups on our calendar.
Father and son, helping condors.
Condors are curious and playful!
Walking a transect to get every bit.
A curious condor wondering
what we're up to.
Kids saving condor chicks, really.
It's true! We sold microtrash
2 lbs sold for $41. Proceeds directly supported volunteers helping condors.