First, they say it’s simply a miracle!
2 California condor chicks have been found alive in the path of Dolan Fire
Excerpt from an article by Cassandra Garibay
September 03, 2020
Two missing California condor chicks were found alive last Wednesday after biologists scoured the area burned by the Dolan Fire near Big Sur. The wildfire had grown to 31,409 acres and was 40% contained as of Thursday morning, September 3, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The flames came just 10 feet from a condor nest occupied by a condor chick named Iniko. according to Ventana Wildlife Society biologists Joe Burnett and Darren Gross,
“We were not optimistic as we hiked through the fire’s devastation,” Burnett said Thursday in a Ventana Wildlife Society newsletter. “To find Iniko alive and well is simply a miracle.”
Raging through the Ventana Wildlife Preserve where dozens of free-flying California condors lived, the Dolan fire chewed up vegetation, leaving little behind. The Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) has fought for decades to bring back the endangered native California Condor. Last week, conservationists watched through “condor cams” in horror as the fire crept closer to a chick’s nest.
“As condors and their chicks have survived wildfire in the past, there is still hope for Iniko and the others. Once the fire is out and we get the all clear, we will rebuild as nothing will get in our way of restoring this magnificent species back to nature!”
Along with Iniko, an unnamed female condor chick that was in a cliff cavity near the advancing flames had also been found alive as of Thursday morning, according to the Ventana Wildlife Society. The 4-month-old chick was saved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Pinnacles National Park’s field team and delivered to a temporary home at the Los Angeles Zoo, the newsletter said. The Condor chick will remain at the zoo for a year until she is ready to be reunited with her flock, according to the newsletter.
Last week, a condor named Shadow was also found alive by biologists at PInnacles National Park. Eleven condors — two chicks and nine adults and sub-adults— at the facility remain missing, the Ventana Wildlife Society said.
As biologists continue their search for the missing endangered birds, the nonprofit organization continues to raise money to rebuild the condor sanctuary. Its goal is to raise $500,000, Thursday’s newsletter said.
This brings me to the second update.
My painting, Big Wave, sold in the Ventana Wildlife Society’s silent auction on September 5, raising $950 for the fund to help rebuild the Condor’s Big Sur Sanctuary! I couldn’t be happier! Thank you to all of you who have donated so far.