Santa Barbara Zoo - Condors Condor Country

Back from the Brink: Recovery

Santa Barbara Condors - Photo by Sheri Horiszny


In 1982 the world’s population of California condors dropped to a low of 22 individual birds.

The decision was made, in 1984, to capture the few remaining condors in the wild and attempt a captive breeding program. There were 24 condors then.

Today, there are more than 320, with more than half of the birds flying free in the wild.

There is still much to do to ensure that California condors, who first glided in the Pleistocene era and feasted on dead mastodons, will continue to soar into the future.

Photo credit: Sheri Horiszny