Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) presents: Learn about the ecology of California Condors and population recovery efforts from California Condor researchers Alacia Welch and Joe Burnett, two of the most experienced professionals in our region that are working to protect these iconic birds.
Since the 1980’s when only a couple dozen individuals survived, the California Condor has made an incredible recovery on our state’s Central Coast. There are now several hundred condors in the wild and in captivity, and wild populations continue a slow spread across California, Arizona, Utah and northern Mexico. Locally, Condors are being spotted further and further afield including locally as far away as Mt. Diablo. But this incredible species is not out of the woods, and continues to be threatened with high mortality.
Alacia and Joe will provide updates on our local condor population that was first reintroduced on the Big Sur Coast. We’ll learn about the habits of the California Condor and what we can do to help these animals on a continued road to recovery.
Alacia Welch is a Park Ranger and Condor Program Manager at Pinnacles National Park. Alacia has co-authored several papers detailing the extensive and meticulous research that she has participated in and led on the condors at Pinnacles. Alacia is a skilled interpreter and believes in the power of public education as a tool to support these ongoing recovery efforts.
Joe Burnett first began working with Ventana Wildlife Society in May 1993 as a Field Assistant for VWS’ Bald Eagle Restoration Program in Big Sur, CA. In 1996, Joe became Field Supervisor for VWS’ Condor Restoration Program and coordinated the first seven releases of condors in central California, six in Big Sur and one at Pinnacles National Monument. Joe left VWS in 2003 to start up Oregon Zoo’s Captive Breeding Program for condors. In 2005, Joe returned to VWS to coordinate the release effort once again. He is currently a two-term Monterey County Fish and Game Commissioner.