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Posted on January 8 at 8:07 p.m.
The writer of this article has simplified a very complex recovery program and in doing so he has minimized the contributions of so many dedicated people who have worked to recover the California condor. There are many unsung heroes who should be acknowledged not thrown under the bus. Their treatment in this article is appalling but, this program has always been beset by gigantic egos. The California condor program has been an evolving one since its inception, it was never stagnant as has been implied.
It is ridiculous to believe the many professional biologists, veterinarians, zoologists and other experts in their fields were not aware of "condor culture", "Learned behavior and the condor, nobody knew how important it was," said Grantham.That is just not true.
"Based on that steady, intimate contact, Brandt and Sandhaus have made two critical breakthroughs: One, they disproved the long-held theory that any human contact would "spoil" wild condors, clearing the way for the hands-on interactions that enable more wild chicks to survive; and two, they've shown that condor culture, such as when older birds teach younger ones where to find food or how to act properly in the wild, is critical to the species' survival."
First, it is too soon to declare the hands-on interactions are without consequences and second,"condor culture" is not news. The use of mentors, etc. began before 2004.
Microtrash, West Nile and lead poisoning are still such problems that the survival of chicks in the nests is dependent on heavy intervention. While these problems still exist no one should be patting themselves on the back.
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