Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Accipitriformes > Cathartidae > Gymnogyps > Gymnogyps californianus

Gymnogyps californianus (California Condor)

Synonyms: Vultur californianus
Language: Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a New World vulture, the largest North American land bird. This condor became extinct in the wild in 1987 (all remaining wild individuals were captured), but the species has been reintroduced to northern Arizona and southern Utah (including the Grand Canyon area and Zion National Park), the coastal mountains of central and southern California, and northern Baja California. Although other are known, it is the only surviving member of the genus Gymnogyps. The species is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.
View Wikipedia Record: Gymnogyps californianus

Endangered Species

Status: Critically Endangered
View IUCN Record: Gymnogyps californianus

EDGE Analysis

Exactly how many California Condors once lived remains unknown, yet by 1981 the wild population numbered at just 21 birds. Throughout history the California Condor has been a dominant subject of mythology amongst Native Americans. Interestingly, the bird carries different meanings to each tribe. Some believed it killed humans and drank their blood, whilst others thought it occasionally ate the moon, thus causing the lunar cycle. Other tribes ritually killed condors for their feathers, from which ceremonial clothing was made. Such activities may have contributed to the condor’s decline. However, the biggest causes of their decline over the past century have been persecution (shooting, poisoning,), unintentional poisoning (lead shot) and loss of wildlands.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 33.3903
EDGE Score: 6.31036
View EDGE Record: Gymnogyps californianus


Adult Weight [1]  18.629 lbs (8.45 kg)
Birth Weight [3]  185 grams
Breeding Habitat [2]  Chaparral, Temperate western forests
Wintering Geography [2]  Non-migrartory
Wintering Habitat [2]  Chaparral, Temperate western forests
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Vertebrates)
Diet - Scavenger [4]  100 %
Forages - Ground [4]  100 %
Female Maturity [3]  6 years
Male Maturity [3]  6 years
Clutch Size [5]  1
Clutches / Year [3]  2
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  230
Incubation [3]  57 days
Maximum Longevity [3]  45 years
Speed [6]  53.686 MPH (24 m/s)
Wing Span [7]  9.25 feet (2.82 m)

Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Carrizo Plain Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve Ia 7550 California, United States  
Kern River Preserve Nature Conservancy - Preserve Ia 834 California, United States
Lake Mead National Recreation Area V 670229 Arizona, Nevada, United States
San Joaquin Biosphere Reserve 4527 California, United States  
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area V 38440 California, United States

Important Bird Areas

Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Marble Canyon USA A1
Zion National Park USA A1

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Oregon Zoo
San Diego Wild Animal Park
San Diego Zoo
Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens

Range Map


North America;

External References


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Attributes / relations provided by
1Snyder, N. F R. and NJ Schmitt. 2002. California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). In Poole, A. and F. Gill, editors. [EDS.]. The birds of North America, No. 610 The Birds of North America, Inc. Philadelphia, PA
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
6Alerstam T, Rosén M, Bäckman J, Ericson PGP, Hellgren O (2007) Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects. PLoS Biol 5(8): e197. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050197
7National Geographic Magazine - January 2016 - Vultures - Elizabeth Royte
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
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