Archive | May 2016

Working for Condor Conservation

On April 28th and 29th some of the scientists involved with CondorWatch (Vickie Bakker, Dan Doak, Myra Finkelstein and Zeka Kuspa) held a workshop with condor biologists and managers to talk condor conservation.  The workshop centered around how we can use models to predict the future population health of condors given different management scenarios.  This approach is very useful for managers to understand how different threats and actions can influence a species’s future survival.

condor workshop approach

Framework for incorporating management and threats into population viability analysis (PVA) models, Bakker and Doak 2008:

We had a productive workshop and one topic talked about A LOT was the importance of social structure to individual behavior.  Indeed the field biologists again hypothesized that birds that hang out together may have similar lead exposure risks, and thus understanding social structure could help prioritize at-risk birds for enhanced monitoring.  We think the knowledge of how social behavior influences a condor’s risk of lead poisoning (among other things) gained through the CondorWatch project will be critical to helping ensure that condors keep flying over our skies in the future!

condor workshop April 2016 UCSC

Condor Workshop members from left to right:  Dan Doak (University of Colorado Boulder), Chris West (Yurok Tribe), Vickie Bakker (Montana State University), Steve Kirkland (US Fish and Wildlife Service), Devon Pryor (Santa Barbara Zoo), Joe Burnett (Ventana Wildlife Society), Joseph Brandt (US Fish and Wildlife Service), Myra Finkelstein (University of California Santa Cruz), Brent Johnson (Pinnacles National Park), Alacia Welch (Pinnacles National Park).

So, thank you for your help with CondorWatch!

The Science Team