Tuesday, December 2, 2008

california condor

Yunfei Zheng
EAP2, Writer’s Workshop
Thomas Leverett
November 24, 2008

There is a lot of problems facing with the California condor, they loss there habitat, killed by the poisonous carcass and so on. This paper is talk about whether we need to save condors or not, how can we restrict the lead bullet, what can we do to recover the habitat which condors have had. The right way we do to save them.


Save California condor
Thesis: Whether humans should find the way to save the California condor and
I. Introduction
A. The California condor is vanishing quickly.
B. Saving the condor is on the issue.
C. Human should save the condor or kill them. If we need to save them, what should we start with?
II. Background
A. What is California condor?
1. Birds:California condor (2008) “Zoological Society of San
B. What is the relationship between condor and humans?
1. wikipedia (2008)
C. What events have happened on the California condor in the
previous years?
1. Lead bullets (Lead claims another condor; 2008)
2. Fire threatened condor. (Rare California Bird threaten by Fires,
3. Human saves the condor. (Rebuilt it and they will come, 2008)

III. Main Arguments
A. Recover the loss of the condor’s habitat.
1. What the condors need for their habitat.
2. Where can we find the place for them?
3. If we can’t find the habitat they need, what we can do to stop the pollution.
B. Abandon the lead bullets.
1. What the lead bullets. What is the lead bullets made of and the non lead bullet.
2. What we have already done with the problem.
3. We should do some thing more detail to stop using the lead bullets.
C. The way to train the condors to live rather than just feed on them.
1. The old way we use to feed them.
2. The ability they loss.
3. Some other ways we should try to do.
D. The reason why we must save the condors.
1. Condors are one of the natural species in the world.
2. It is us who cause the problem.
3. If we ignore the problem, it will cause more and more serious problem in the future which we may have no ability to solve them.

IV. Conclusion
1. thesis restatement
2. The 3 problems we caused.
3. The reason why we should save the condors.

California condor

California condor, which feed on carrion, “located in the wild only in isolated areas of reintroduction: California and Arizona in the United States, and Baja California, Mexico. Habitat is wooded mountains and scrublands” (Zoological Society of San Diego, 2008). They are big birds roaring in the sky. Now, the number of this bird is becoming very small. Here is the problem facing with the California condor. The first one is the loss of their habitat. We all know that in these human’s long history, we never stop destroy the world’s environment, we make a lot of pollution and spoil the ozone layer which can protect the rays from going to the earth directly. Now days, global warming and some other environment problems appeared normally. In the same time, a lot of animals loss their habitat, California condor is one of them. The second problem is the use of lead bullets. Lead bullets means poisoning bullets, people use them to hunt for animals, even we don’t hunt for condors now, but as a scavenger, they eat the carcass left by some hunters who just hunt for fun. And one dead carcass can cause numbers of death of condors. The third problem is the way we do to recover the condors is not right. We let the condor loss the ability to forage. They can only rely on human being to live. So I will give my opinions on these problems

These are the three things I want to argue about. First is recovering the loss habitat. We can start this with find a new place to live or just recovery; second is stop the use of lead bullets by passing some bills and changing the price of the bullets; third is improve the breeding program in order to improve the condors ability to forage. All of these solutions need not only government but us to participate in the project. Then, we can use the shortest time to complete the program. The following are the details for all these ways.

First one is recover the loss habitat. This is a big program; habitat loss can not be solved in only a few days. So it needs our all efforts. Condors live in the wooded mountains and scrubland. Reforestation is the first we should do, stop logging trees in these range and start planting trees. In my core class, I learned some ways to reforest, here are some of them: “fully fund the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), which sends biologists to assess the biodiversity of ‘hot spots’; Then, use debt-for-nature swaps and conservation easements to encourage countries to protect the forest or other valuable natural systems. Work with local people to protect forests; stop funding tree and crop plantations, ranches, roads and destructive types of tourism ; set aside large protected areas for indigenous tribal peoples”. All in a word, we should ask the government for help and find the people who live on these areas to work together. In this way, we can have improvement.

Reforestation is one part of the recover program; some people say we can also find another area for condors to live. The place we need should be like this: there is enough carcasses for condor which means except for condor, there should have many other kinds of species. Then, condors always need cliff, “the cliffs offer the Condor an invaluable benefit of searching for food in wide open, non-forested areas, making their hunt much more productive” (Habitat of the condor, no time). Also, condor nest in ledges and their nest are small; the place should not have too much natural enemy for them. All these requirements are needed for the new habitat.

Then, it comes to our humans’ life. Every day, we use a lot of resource. These resources are all come from the natural. Some of them can not be reuse and undergrad. After we use it, they are still exists in the earth, they cause a lot of pollution and damage the animals’ habitat. We should stop buying these resources, use reusable or refillable plates, cups, etc. we also find some other chemicals to instead of CFCs. Build higher chimney and stop burning fossil materials. We can’t stop using our cars but we can use solar energy in our high tech product. If we can slow down the global warming, we can stop animals from migration, condors can still find carcass to eat. That is what possible.

The second one is the lead bullets. We can regard this problem as the most serious one. Even we save a lot of condors at a time, on bullets can kill all of our hard work. The lead bullets are made of a metal Pb, it is a very dangerous element in chemistry, even human can be poisoned by it. We buy them only because they are cheap. I find that no all the hunters are really hunted for food. If the hunter only hunt animals for fun, they don’t need to pay that much of money to buy the bullets, even the carcass is poisoned, they don’t eat them, so what affect most are these condors.

“Despite a California law that provides subsides to hunters to buy more expensive non lead bullets, the state has yet to fund it” (Margot Roosevelt, 2008).I have an idea about it, if our government subsides doesn’t make sense, how about we use
these money to produce more non lead bullets. Then we can raise the lead bullets’ price and low the non lead bullets’ price at the same time. In this way, more and more people will buy non lead bullets and the market will change, more non lead bullets are needed. Then, we can accelerate produce the non lead bullets and slow down the lead bullets. It may not take a long time until one day, we can stop produce the lead bullets. So this needs our government to do publish new bills. We can restrict the range of using the lead bullets. If the range is too small, the hunters will feel inconvenience, and then the lead bullets are useless. People won’t spend money on useless things.

As I know, we truly passed some bills to limit the use of lead bullets, “last year California became the first state to pass a law prohibiting hunters from using lead ammunition within the condor’s 2,385-square-mile range”(Margot Roosevelt, 2008).but the range is still too large. The law limited hunters to use lead bullets in the condors’ range, not totally forbidden, so, it still does not work at all.

Third is the way we feed them. We all know that we have some recover programs on condor, the number of the condor increased at one time. But they died in a short time. The loss of ability to forage shock us, we find that we just feed them but train them. So, the next step we should do is to change the way.

We should put the food in some secret place to let the condor find them rather then give them directly. The way we feed them is very important, maybe we should study about the special signal the lead carcass has. Then, we try to let the condor get the ability to tell the carcass, we can put the non poison carcass together, when they want to eat the poison one, we will stop them. If we keep doing this, they will have feelings that this carcass can not be eaten. They will try to figure out what is the different between these two carcasses. Then, when they start to eat the other one, we don’t do anything to stop them. So, they will feel safe about it. If we keep doing this for a long time, like 1 year or more, they will keep this memory in mind. Then, they will keep this to their next generation, then, all of them can distinguish the carcass by themselves. So, when we put them back into their habitat and leave them alone, they can choose what they can eat and what they can’t to.

There are some people said that the condor is not need in the world, we have spend a lot of money on it and the result is it doesn’t make too much sense, they think we should kill all the condors. “The first independent study in decades of the complex, multimillion-dollar effort to rescue the giant scavengers from extinction has raised a politically incorrect question: Has the condor recovery program been a waste of money?” (Margot Roosevelt, 2008). It is funny to see this news; we did spend a lot of money on condors, all the result prove that we can save them. The important thing is we need time to improve our saving program. “despite Arizona’s effort, condors are still being poisoned there. Given the condors’ low reproductive rate, ‘a virtually 100% compliance rate’ would be necessary to maintain the species” (Margot Roosevelt, 2008). Yes, there is no doubt that the number is the truth, but it was caused by ourselves, if we don’t produce the lead bullets, condors will never eat the poisoned carcass and they won’t die for this. We can see condors circle the carcass and eat them before they die, don’t you think it is our fault?

Our ecosystem is a big family, we have no right to decide whether one of them have the meaning to live. Human being is indeed the cleverest species in the world, but if we do too much harmful to the environment, they will pay back at the end. In the past few years, many kinds of species die out in the world; we make a lot of pollution. Sometimes, we can notice that human are so selfish, we doing things without considering something else. If condor dies out, it is not the end, it is just a beginning, we will kill more and more animals in the future, we will always find excuse for the entire problem we find. In the end, we are the last specie in the world and will soon die out.

Don’t let the tragedy happen, we need different species to keep the natural balance. Condor’s death will not only cause one issue but more. We can’t imagine how the problems may become if we ignore the problem which we have now. So, encourage everyone to make a contribution to the saving program, to save the condor, not only for the bird, but for the natural and ourselves.


Are California condors worth saving? (August 9, 2008). Retrieved November
27, 2008 from:

Bird Keeper. (September 23, 2008). Rebuild it and they will come back.
Retrieved November 27, 2008 from
Core class.
Galindo. (October 1, 2008). Lead claims another condor. Retrieved November 27,

Roosevelt Margot. (August 9, 2008). Survival of freed condors doubted.
Angeles Time. Retrieved November 27, 2008 from

Roosevelt Margot. (August 9, 2008). Recovery of condors in doubt; They rely on
humans for food free of lead bullets, which has damaged their ability to
forage, study says. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 27, 2008

Wikipedia. (no date). California condor. Retrieved November 27, 2008, from

Zoological Society of San Diego. (2008). Birds: California condor. Retrieved
November 27, 2008, from