Friday, June 20, 2003

 The return of the condor 

Stupid me, I've been forgetting to keep up with the more recent developments in the effort to reintroduce the California Condor to the Ventana Wilderness region, which is just a few dozen miles from where I live. If nothing else, that would be a pretty nifty bird to add to the life list.

What I find especially interesting is the following from that link above:

More than half of the Big Sur flock are in southern California and spending valuable time with condors from the southern flock. The mixing of the Big Sur and southern flocks is beneficial to both subpopulations. A great exchange of social information occurs among the two groups as well as the potential formation of new condor pairs. The two subpopulations are now essentially becoming one California population with a current range very similar to the historic range prior to 1980, which is one of the goals of the condor restoration effort.

People generally don't think of animals as passing collective knowledge or tribal wisdom from one generation to the next - we prefer to believe that that behavior is uniquely within the province of human experience. And although I would agree that it's not easy to demonstrate, I do think the evidence is mounting that many of our feathered counterparts do exactly this, and certainly benefit from it.

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