Once nearly extinct, California condors recovering nicely in national park
PAICINES, Calif. — I didn’t know anything about Pinnacles National Park, except that it probably had pinnacles, when I visited the park during a trip to California last month.
So I certainly didn’t suspect that my impromptu, 50-mile detour to the park, inspired by a highway sign, would give me a glimpse of a wildlife miracle, one I would have thought impossible just a few years ago.
California condors were on the brink of extinction within recent memory. In 1982, only 23 members of the species, the largest land birds in North America, survived, all in captivity. More online Had someone told me then that I’d ever see a California condor in the wild, I would have scoffed and pegged them as an environmental optimist.
But since that time, a remarkable condorrecovery program has greatly increased the number of birds.
Admittedly, I’m a bit behind in my condor news. So when I stopped at the Pinnacles Visitors Center and a ranger showed me on a park map where condors had been seen in recent days, my response was, “Wait. Strange formations, created by volcanoes and shifting geological faults, can be seen at the park.