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Stately scavenger: The California condor's nine-foot wingspan once soared in the skies of the entire West Coast, until its population dwindled to just 22 birds in 1987. Today, more than 30 years after the recovery program officially was launched to save the endangered species, experts believe that Gymnogyps californianus is poised to succeed now more than ever. Explained program coordinator Jesse Grantham, "Our charge is to restore the species to a self-sustaining population."

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