Kids travel to the Grand Canyon, Big Sur, and the Sespe Condor Sanctuary in the nearby mountains to learn about saving the highly endangered California condor. But a new mobile game called Condor Country allows students to virtually travel to those regions and raise and release their very own flock of condors. The game, which was developed as a partnership between the Santa Barbara Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Cerberus Interactive, emerged from the successful Condor Kids project, which was a curriculum project developed by the zoo and USFWS for the Fillmore Unified School District.
More California condors live in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties than anywhere else, said Michael Glenn from USFWS, and most of these students didn’t even know we had condors or what a condor was. With Condor Country, students not only learn about condors but also learn how to protect them and how “they too can become advocates for these species.” Assigned a virtual condor flock, gamers can simulate an endangered-species recovery program. In turn, players learn about wildlife management strategies and get excited about conserving endangered species.
By Paul Wellman