The mighty wingspan of a Californian Condor (a Vulture) is something to behold!
These carrion feeders are seriously big birds (one of the largest) and can live for up to 60 years. They can weigh up to 13 kilograms / 29 pounds, have a wingspan of 2.95 metres / 9.7 feet and be up to 1.4 metres /4.6 feet in length! The huge wings provide some impressive flight capabilities too. The Californian Condor can fly at speeds up to 88 kph / 55 mph and climb to an altitude of 4,600 metres / 15,000 feet! Impressive!
Sadly the Californian Condor is a species on the critical risk list and are only found in the wild today in limited areas where they have been reintroduced in California, Arizona and Baja California in Mexico. Habitat destruction, poaching and poisoning decimated this species and 30 years ago it was estimated only 22 remained in the wild.
Breeding, reintroduction and conservation projects lead by organisations such as the San Diego Zoo have brought this population back to around 400 Californian Condors today, of which just over half are now living in the wild. Protection of their habitat in wooded mountains and scrublands is now the key to their ongoing survival.