The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service welcomes Michael Brady as the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex’s new Project Leader. Based in Ventura, Brady will provide leadership for more than 20,000 acres of public land and the bi-national California Condor Recovery Program.
The Refuge Complex serves as the headquarters for the California Condor Recovery Program and includes the Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek, Blue Ridge, and Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes national wildlife refuges.
Hopper Mountain, located in the mountains just north of Fillmore, provides nesting, roosting and foraging habitat for condors and other wildlife while giving refuge staff access to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. Bitter Creek, 10 miles south of Maricopa, is home to foraging and roosting condors, as well as a number of other threatened and endangered species. Blue Ridge, north of Springville, protects historic condor roosting habitat in the Sierra foothills. Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, on the Central Coast just south of Pismo Beach, protects dune habitat that many threatened and endangered species call home.
The California Condor Recovery Program is a multi-entity effort, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to recover the endangered California condor. The Program is currently focusing its efforts on captive-breeding and reintroduction of California condors to the wild. Currently, there are 109 California condors flying free in Central and Southern California, 70 in Arizona and Utah, and 19 in Baja, Mexico. The total world population of condors is 399, with half flying free in the wild and half in captivity.
Michael Brady comes to Ventura with a wide breadth of wildlife management experience. He’s been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 17 years. Brady has worked all over the country for the National Wildlife Refuge System, including among others, Monomoy NWR in Massachusetts, Ding Darling NWR in Florida, and, most recently, Alaska Peninsula and Becharof NWR Complex, where he served as Deputy Refuge Manager. He and his family moved to Ventura from the remote Alaskan village of King Salmon.
Brady arrives at the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex at a significant time. A 15-year management plan for the three condor-related refuges (Hopper Mountain, Bitter Creek and Blue Ridge), called a comprehensive conservation plan (CCP), is currently being developed, with a draft due for public review early next year.
More information about the California Condor Recovery Program is available by contacting the Hopper Mountain NWR Complex, at (805) 644-5185 or visiting the Refuge Complex website at: www.fws.gov/hoppermountain.