Ecuador makes efforts to conserve the Andean Condor

The Andean Condor is the heraldic bird of the country, one of the symbols representing the nation. For centuries, these giant feathered flew freely on the Andean mountain ranges.

They were revered by indigenous groups and inspired hundreds of legends about its majesty and greatness. In the last hundred years, however, its population has been decimated, reaching the brink of extinction.

The use of pesticides and poisons, the poaching due to the misconception that kill livestock (only feeds on carrion) and the reduction of natural areas are some of the causes that have led to this species faces a terrible reality.

According to the Red Data Book of Birds of the country, the Andean condor is Critically Endangered and is registered in the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora this radically prohibits its market.

Preservation of the species

Current efforts in the conservation of Andean Condor in Ecuador are routed through the National Working Group of the Andean Condor, which brings together organizations such as the Zoological Foundation, the Condor Park, the Galo Plaza Foundation, Birds and Conservation Foundation and the Ministry of Environment.

“This group works from the late 90s, but have started doing more intensively since 2009. We found several nests that are monitored, participated in the liberation of the condor Felipe, we put satellite chips to make a follow up daily. Furthermore, we focus on environmental education, we are dedicated to information and awareness to prevent attempts to hunt or capture. In this respect the media is doing a great job” reflected Juan Manuel Carrión, director of the Quito Zoo.

This year has been terribly dramatic for the world of the condor, with three deceased specimens at Imbabura, Pichincha and Azuay. According to Carrión, the perception of civil society is changing.

An example of this came after appeared photos of a dead condor in the social networks that sparked outrage among the population: “The spread of these photos really helped consciousness, showing the barbarity of a few, but the authorities intervened, the responsible was arrested and legal action was taken.”

The fragile reality of the Condor requires the convergence of forces for its population stability and survival, so the birth and future release of the new young pigeon along with its two siblings is an issue for the whole country, says Carrión.

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