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Ventana Wildlife Society

Rehabilitating the Wild Critters of Big Sur. Condors, with their incredible 9-foot wingspans, were all but extinct by 1987, their decline largely due to lead poisoning from eating spent bullets and fragments found in unclaimed animals left in the field due to illegal hunting and varmint shooting. The Ventana Wildlife Society is the organization responsible for bringing them back, a feat it managed by launching an intensive program to reintroduce captive condors into their 240-acre field site on the rugged coast of Big Sur, California and in the nearby Pinnacles National Park. Thanks to their efforts and the help of partnering organizations, today’s condor population on the Central Coast is on the rise.

During the warm months, the Ventana Wildlife Society offers condor viewing tours on the second Sunday of each month, employing radio telemetry to track the birds. The staff also runs an interactive website called My Condor, where members of the public can record their condor sightings and often identify which condor they spotted. Cute nicknames like "Phoebe the Forager" and "Cosmo" add to the fun.

Aside from its major condor efforts, the Ventana Wildlife Society also works to protect 130 endangered species, including the local bald eagle population, which is starting to return locally after a 60-year absence. They also reintroduce peregrine and prairie falcons into their field site and run a Discovery Center in Big Sur.

The VWS's administrative office is located at:

19045 Portola Drive, Suite F1
Salinas, California 93908
831.455.9514

Be sure to visit the Ventana Wildlife Society website for further details on their current and past restoration projects.

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