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Shadow of the Condor

Program Overview

In an attempt to save the California condor from almost certain extinction, scientists at the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos have implemented an intensive captive-breeding and reintroduction program. This episode of NOVA follows their efforts to increase the condor population. The process is extremely challenging. Scientists must take care to breed animals that are not dependent on human support, so they will survive when released to the wild.

The success of the project depends in part on the scientists' skill in observing and interpreting condor behavior, and on their ability to design an appropriate environment for the birds based on these observations. The subject of their study is the Andean condor, a native of South America. By observing this cousin of the California condor in its natural habitat, they hope to gain an understanding of the connections between the California condor and its own environment.

map of N. America with California Condor range

Teacher's Guide
Shadow of the Condor

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