Cactus Gallery LA
Suspension of Disbelief by artist Hollywood Indian
Acrylic on panel, 16” x 20"
The California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a New World vulture, the largest North American land bird. This condor became extinct in the wild in 1987 (all remaining wild individuals were captured), but the species has since been reintroduced to No. Arizona and So. Utah (including the Grand Canyon area and Zion National Park), the coastal mountains of central and southern California, and northern Baja California. Although other fossil members are known, it is the only surviving member of the genus Gymnogyps. The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered.
Condor numbers dramatically declined in the 20th century due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction. A conservation plan was put in place by the US government that led to the capture of all the remaining wild condors which was completed in 1987, with a total population of 27 individuals. These surviving birds were bred at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. Numbers rose through captive breeding and, beginning in 1991, condors were reintroduced into the wild. Since then, its population has grown, but the California condor remains one of the world's rarest bird species: as of December 2016 there are 446 condors living wild or in captivity.
The condor is a significant bird to many Californian Native American groups and plays an important role in several of their traditional myths.