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Two rare endangered California condor nests spotted in south Utah

Posted at 3:22 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 17:26:25-04

Biologists in southern-Utah and northern-Arizona are celebrating the news of two confirmed critically endangered California Condor nests in southern Utah.

Each nest houses a "quickly growing, fuzzy-gray nestling."

Scientists are excited because this is the first time they've seen multiple condor nests in Utah during the same breeding season, according to a news release.

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The nests are both on public lands. The first nest confirmed by Zion National Park biologists, likely hatched around April 16 of this year and is located near Angel’s Landing, a popular hiking trail at Zion.

"We were happy to learn the breeding pair at Zion chose to nest again in the cave near Angels Landing since the location lends exceptional condor viewing opportunities and facilitates an outstanding learning experience for visitors," said Janice Stroud-Settles, Wildlife Program Manager at Zion National Park.

The second nest that biologists confirmed hatched around May 11 and is located on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land to the east of Zion National Park.

The female condor from the Zion National Park pair is pictured perched atop a rock.

The California Condor population declined to just 22 birds in the 1980s when the greater California Condor Recovery Program was started to save the species from extinction, according to a news release by the Peregine Fund. As of July 2021 there are more than 100 condors in the wild in northern Arizona and southern Utah and the total world population of more than 500.

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"We are encouraged to see condors making use of the good nesting habitats here in southwest Utah, which just increases the chances for recovery success," said Keith Day, Wildlife Biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

For more, visit the Peregrine Fund's website.