For many years, the Andean Condor, one of the largest birds of the world, has been very venerated by the native communities of South America because who consider it the soul of Andes itself and a portal between men and God.
Once abundant, today this emblematic animal, the symbolic link to our cultural past, is, unfortunately, on the verge of extinction.
The Condor is a bird of grandiose dimensions. Lengthwise it reaches 1, 2 meters and its wingspan measures 3, 15 meters. The male distinguishes itself from the female by its crest on top of its head. The males can reach up to 15 kilograms; the females reach 11 kilograms.
An excellent glider, the Condor can remain for hours gliding air currents. Usually, at least in some places, it doesn’t take flight until the morning.
The basic sustenance of the Condor consists of carrion but those that live on the coast eat the eggs of other birds and its babies. At times, they opt for eating dying animals, newborns or eggs, when carrion is scarce.
This bird nests in cracks and caves of cliffs, and every two years they lay just one egg. Both male and female look after their young, which lives in the nest for 6 to 8 months, and leaves their parents in between 5 or 8 years of age.
The Andean Condor is the national bird of Chile and now it is in danger of extinction.
The Binational Program for the Conservation of the Andean Condor, started in 2000, unites the conversation efforts executed by Chile and Argentina to save this emblematic bird. The main goal of this program is to increase local efforts and to spread the knowledge and the conservation of this bird at an international level.
This project is supported by the Chilean Ornithologists' Union (www.aveschile.cl), the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG), Buenos Aires Zoo and the Argentina's Bioandina Foundation.
In December 2001, as the first step in this joint project the first young Condors most born in captivity and other rehabilitated from different zoos across Chile and Argentina were release into the wild.
Today this program continues to develop, taking into account different aspects such as the research of the Condor in its natural habitat, the study of the variables that affect or related t their survival, and the development of new methods of the reintroduction of more Condors to places where their population is dwindling.
Tt is important to note that during the last decade, there have been more than a hundred Condors released through this program.
Rehabilitation Center for birds of prey
In 1991, the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) officially supported this center by their signature of an agreement with the Chilean Ornithologists' Union (AvesChile), creating for the first time in Chile, first official rehabilitation center for wildlife.
A cooperation agreement also exists with the Chilean National Zoo, of Parque Metropolitano, where they perform major medical treatments such as x-rays, general surgeries, bone surgeries, among others. The recovery and rehabilitation process takes place in the rehabilitation center facilities.
The main goal of this agreement is the care and recovery of injured birds of prey or Condors who have been held illegally in captivity. This process is done by a comprehensive effort that combines rehabilitation, research and education efforts whose main objective is to reintegrate Condors to their natural habitat. Since 1990 until present, this center has received more than thousand Condors of over more than 15 different species.
Currently, this center receives more than a hundred Condors to be rehabilitated per year.
The center has more than a hundred different prey and scavenger birds such as: Condors (Vultur gryphus), Eagles (Geranoaetus melanoleucus), Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), Kestrels ( best pokies jeux de poker a telecharger Falco sparverius), Barn owls (Tyto alba), Tucúqueres (Bubo magellanicus), among others.
Rehabilitation of injured Condors
Every injured Condor (by shots, an accident, etc) or those who were confiscated by the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) arrive at the Center of Birds of Prey of the National Zoo. Once the veterinary examines the birds to determine their injuries, they are sent to the center for reproduction if they are not fit to be release or, if birds are able to recover, they are sent to rehabilitation and then released.
Condor and other birds release
Since 1999, Condors kept at the Birds of Prey Center have been mating and laying eggs. In 2000, the first successful Condor birth took place, after a long process the bird was released along with other birds in the Double Nation Program Condor Andino Conservation. Since that first experience, many other successful results have being achieved with breeding different pairs.
To release a bird, it is important to know that there is a very complex process of rehabilitation and reintegration. This process starts when the bird is found in different parts of the country and then rehabilitated at the Birds of Prey Center. Then the birds are moved to the pre-Andean area with purposes of release. The whole process can take from 3 to 4 years.
Once the release is successful, the Condors are monitored during the next months through satellite transmitters installed in their wings, a device that helps to monitor how these birds are and give them some help if they need it.
When a Condor is released, usually it is before the eyes of regional and government authorities as well as the media.
During the last years, the releases have taken place in the central part of Andean Mountain, such as Yerba Loca and Rancagua. It is a program sponsored by companies that support this project and give financial support for this large task.
The Double Nation Program co-director, Eduardo Pavez, says that “the release is a turning point after a very long process of the Condors’ rehabilitation. To make these birds fly again is part of a series of initiatives for promoting the respect we owe to nature”.
During the last decade, more than a hundred Condors have been released.
Volunteers play a key role in the development and execution of the Project. Without their love and help no Condors would be able to fly anymore.
EcoHostel is often receives guests interested in becoming volunteers and to participate actively in the Condor Project.
Help with this Project depends on various different features such as:
Tasks according to the above mentioned features: