The California Condor

The California Condor : A Saga of Natural History and Conservation

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Description

As the largest flying bird of North America, and one of the most endangered, the California Condor has been a source of tremendous interest and awe. This book offers up-to-date information on both the biology and conservation of the condor, as analyzed by the two most knowledgeable field biologists to have studied the species. The authors present first a thorough review of the history of condor studies and conservation efforts, then a detailed examination of the biology and recent decline of the species, and finally a hopeful plan for ultimate restoration of the species as a viable member of wild ecosystems. The book is illustrated with over a hundred superb color photographs covering numerous aspects of natural history of the species and recent conservation efforts on its behalf. Conservation of the California Condor has always been highly controversial, and this book does not shrink from controversy. Instead it offers a broad and insightful, but nevertheless sympathetic treatment of the many political conflicts of the past century.
Key features include: reviews historical account of condor biology and conservation; analyzes nest site characteristics and limitations; studies breeding behavior and analyzes breeding effort and success; discusses mortality rates and the causes for their decline and efforts to improve reproduction; discusses the techniques, problems, and results of captive breeding and release programs.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 228.6 x 269.24 x 33.02mm | 1,882.4g
  • Academic Press Inc
  • San Diego, United States
  • English
  • 0126540055
  • 9780126540055

Table of contents

About the Authors V1 Photo Credits V11 Dedication XI Prologue X111 Part I: Historical and Background Matters Chapter 1: Some Perspectives on Basic Condor Biology 2 Chapter 2: California Condors in Prehistoric, Historic, and Modern Human Cultures 30 Chapter 3: Condor Research and Conservation in the Early-Mid 20th Century 49 Part II: Struggles to Launch a New Program Chapter 4: Battles in the Political Arena 90 Chapter 5: Africa and Peru 102 Chapter 6: Development and Testing of Research Techniques 115 Part III Research Results of the New Program Chapter 7: Censuring 128 Chapter 8: Movements and Food 139 Chapter 9: Nest Sites 159 Chapter 10: Breeding Behavior 176 Chapter 11: Breeding Effort and Success 213 Chapter 12: Mortality 232 Part IV: Conservation in the 1980s Chapter 13: Field Conservation and Habitat Preservation 264 Chapter 14: Formation of a Captive Flock 278 Chapter 15: The Audubon Lawsuit and the Valentine's Day Docufesto 307 Part V: Restoration Chapter 16: Captive Breeding 316 Chapter 17: Releases to the Wild 339 Part VI: A General Evaluation Chapter 18: Overview 366 Epilogue 391 Acknowledgments 393 Bibliography 396 Index 404
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Review quote

Everyone interested in the preservation of rare and endangered species simply has to read this book. No matter how much you think you know about conservation or about California condors, you will come away from this book with a more sophisticated perspective, and you will understand the process and the politics at a level most people never achieve... I don't hesitate to recommend this as one of the most important books on conservation to appear in many years. Bird Watcher's Digest The most comprehensive popular work ever published on this species. This is a large and lavishly illustrated book, a real bargain for its modest price... [It] deserves wide readership among those interested, not only in endangered species, but also in the science, politics, ethics, and philosophy underpinning the field of conservation biology... The prose is lucid and succinct so that the complex issues are clearly and fairly described... One of the book's major strengths is its apparent even-handedness. Birding Authors Noel and Helen Snyder weave history, biology, and politics into a magnificent saga that chronicles the conservation program, from pinpointing the causes for the bird's population decline to choosing a course of action to save this endangered species. California Wild For those interested in complex species-conservation problems and the associated negotiations and politics, this is a really valuable story... Most technical aspects of the book's production are also of high quality: heavy glossy paper, attractive layout, superb photos, a generous set of acknowledgements, a bibliography of 382 cited references, and a thorough index... Anyone interested in the California Condor or in the conservation of endangered species in general should study this book. -- Howard L. Cogswell Western Birds It is a truly exciting read... This is a very important book. It should be read not only by birds of prey enthusiasts, but by anyone with an interest in conservation and endangered species management. Ibis This book is, as the title claims, a saga... It is a compelling tale: a morality play about mankind's capacity for doing harm, then good, to a fellow creature. BBC Wildlife The authors' vivid descriptions and attention to detail in discussing breeding, nesting, foraging, and behavioral practices of the condor heighten interest and imparts a great deal of knowledge. Audubon Naturalist News The authors tell a compelling and illustrative story of the perils of species endangerment and the obstacles to be overcome before the species could be rereleased into the wild... Though it is accessible to undergraduates, it also presents a wealth of advanced concepts and information that would be useful to any natural resource professional dealing with rare species. This is the definitive summary of the biology and conservation issues related to the California condor, and will likely remain so for many years. Choice This brave book details damaging mistakes as well as successes and describes the whole remarkable programme together with the history of condors and their sad decline. Birds Here is one of the most thorough, well-illustrated, and accessible books on an endangered species ever written. The California condor story is extraordinary. The Snyders tell of this rescue effort with authority, verve, and occasional humor, accounting the controversies, failures, triumphs, and politics as well as the major personalities involved. While there are a dozen other good condor titles, the Snyders' book is the one to have. Library Journal Written in a very readable style ... this is a recommended book for anyone interested in species conservation, raptors or undertaking fieldwork in remote and extremely difficult countryside! BTO News Excellent and comprehensive... I recommend this book for anyone with an interest in North American birds, raptors, or endangered species. Buy it; it is excellent value for money. British Birds
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