Captive breeding was initiated in the 1980s to save the birds from extinction. The condor population has grown from its low of 150 to more than 450; approximately 290 of which live in the wild. To help further the recovery of the California condor, WSP USA partnered with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Yurok Tribe to study establishing a new population in Redwood National Park through captive releases, while also reintroducing condors to Yurok tribal lands.
The condor plays an integral role in the Yurok Tribe’s culture and, as the condor population slowly rebuilds throughout its historical range, acts as a powerful symbol to the Tribe. Reintroducing condors to the park would also contribute to the restoration of the redwood ecosystem in the park, and fulfill Constitution of the Yurok Tribe directives, which require the Tribal Council to “restore, enhance, and manage the tribal fishery, tribal water rights, tribal forests, and all other natural resources.”