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The establishment of self-sustaining populations of California condors has been challenging in the human-dominated landscapes of southern California. Some of the challenges are from ingestion of lead and micro-trash.

Researchers tracked 28 California condors with GPS units for 24 months to investigate the characteristics of ground sites condors visited and to identify trends. Condors visited ground sites with a wide variety of land cover types, including coastal grasslands and dry chaparral. Open-cover sites and steep slopes were used more frequently. Condors concentrated visits to ground sites around a 3-hour period near mid-day, and usage of ground sites increased from winter to late summer. This study is the first to use remotely sensed telemetry data to clarify timing of visits to the ground and the types of habitats where condors are likely to land. Their findings have important relevance for ongoing conservation and management strategies for California condors.


Hall, J.C., Braham, M.A., Nolan, L., Conley, J., Brandt, J., Mendenhall, L., Lanzone, M.J., McGann, A.J., Katzner, T.E., 2019, Characteristics of feeding sites of California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) in the human-dominated landscape of Southern California: Wilson Journal of Ornithology,

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