Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Condors & The Big Sur Fire

Hello, Birders,

Just now, I received this news and update from Sal Lucidos regarding the California Condors and the raging fires at Big Sur:

I just got off the telephone with Joe Burnett (Ventana Wildlife Society Condor Coordinator). He drove up to the Sanctuary with the Monterey County Herald to FINALLY get a visual of the status of all improvements on the property. All the Condor facilities are toast, as is their outhouse and one of their travel trailers. What is remarkable considering the extent of this wildfire in Big Sur is that the Condor Crew's Bunkhouse survived. It actually had burn marks on their decking and one of their screened windows burned............. fortunately... that window did NOT shatter from the heat of the flames and their Cabin is safe..................... as is the Sal & Ada homestead cabin rebuild.  Ada & I can't express in words how happy and relieved we are with all this and that the Condor crew were safely rescued by the Coast Guard helicopter & condors are doing so well.  The indications are very promising with all three condor babies................. for the GPS data shows that the parents continue to fly back to their nestsites.
So keep praying and if able.............. considering assisting the Ventana Wildlife Society with the Condor Emergency Fund.............. they have to rebuild the two Condor Facilities !

Their website is www.VentanaWS.org 

In case you have not been following this story: All of the released condors were captured during a daring helicopter and ATV rescue and transported in their crates to Pinnacles National Monument. However, just prior to the breakout of the fire, a third condor nest was discovered in a very tall, old redwood tree. These six breeding adults were not captured, as they each had a youngster in the nest. The other two nests are near the coast. The redwood nest is in a very remote area that did burn, including the nest tree, but the tree stood. You know, these old redwoods are pretty tough. Apparently, Sal thinks that all of the young may still be surviving. IF this turns out to be the case, it would be something of a miracle to say the least.

Condors forever,

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024

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