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These are the government agencies, institutions, zoological parks, universities and non-governmental organizations whose commitment to the cause has proven decisive to secure the return of the California condor to Baja California, Mexico at the San Pedro Martyr Sierra.


US Fish 6 Wildlife Service

In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law. This was the most comprehensive legislation protecting endangered species to be established in the United States to date. Administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has proven to be incredibly effective in stabilizing populations of species at risk. In the mid 1980s, 22 California condors were left in the world. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service petitioned the San Diego Zoo and the Los Angeles Zoo to step in to safeguard the species, by means of capturing them and breeding them in captivity, in a joint effort to save them from imminent extinction.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and Botanical Garden

The San Diego Zoo received its first California condor in 1929. A couple had found the specimen with a wounded wing in Ventura, California, and donated it to the zoo. The condor’s wing eventually had to be amputated, but the bird stayed active and healthy for over 10 years. In 1982, only 22 birds remained. The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance was given permission by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game to begin the first managed propagation program for California condors. The National Audubon Society and the

Los Angeles Zoo were also involved in the program.

Along with the Mexican Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) and the Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE) these institutions have been managing and restoring the California condor population in the San Pedro Martyr Sierra in the mountains of northern Baja California, Mexico, where the species went extinct sometime in the mid-1950s.

Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

In 1982 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with Los Angeles Zoo and the San Diego Zoo, began an intensive breeding and reintroduction program that eventually increased the population to more than 500 birds. The release of birds bred under human watch into the wild began in 1992, and thus far about 300 California condors have been introduced to the wild.


Other allies that collaborated in this enterprise were: the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service Bureau of Land Management, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Utah Department of Fish and Wildlife, the federal government of Mexico, the Yurok Tribe, the San Diego Zoo, the Oregon Zoo, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Chapultepec Zoo, The Peregrine Fund and the Ventana Wildlife Society.

Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) and  Comisión Nacional de las Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP)

In 1999, the Mexican government partook in the recovery of the California condor in 1999. An agreement between the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE) and the U.S. Fish and Wild Life Services alongside the the Zoological Society of San Diego and the SEMARNA sought to introduce the California condor to the National Park of the San Pedro Martyr Sierra in Baja California. These efforts were conducted under the INE priority species program and with the special participation of the Dirección General de Vida Silvestre and the Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA).

Parque Nacional Sierra San Pedro Mártir                   

This mountain range in northern Baja California is the fifth site, and the only one in Mexico where the California condor has been reintroduced. Due to its ragged topography, ranging with peaks over 3 thousand meters and cliffs over 400 meters high and carved by immensely steep canyons, the San Pedro Martyr Sierra —extending over 72 thousand hectares where almost no people live—is the perfect quiet habitat for this large scavenger.



National Park Director Verónica Meza. 


Chapultepec Zoo                                  

In 2007, after years of negotiations, the Chapultepec Zoo received two male condors from the California facilities for educational purposes. In 2014 the park received another pair of female condors for breeding purposes. From that moment onwards, the Chapultepec Zoo has enriched the wild condor population at the San Pedro Martyr Sierra by gifting seven individuals to the wild, and has further collaborated to safeguarding the species gene pool by keeping two breeding pairs at the zoo for future introductions.   

The Government of Baja California, the Baja California Secretaría de Protección al Ambiente (SPA) and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC)

The Government of northern Baja California in collaboration with the state environmental agency and the state university have participated on the introduction of the species back to the region.

ENDESU, Espacios Naturales y Desarrollo Sustentable A. C.

The ENDESU is a Mexican environmental organization that began working with endangered species and their habitats in 1997. In 2016 this organization partook in the joint effort of the the California Condor Recovery Program at the San Pedro Martyr Sierra National Park. ENDESU has a stellar group of professionals that helps the condor team in a number different issues.


The Mexican Navy

This ministry agency has participated in the California Condor Recovery Program in Mexico by transporting the Chapultepec Zoo condors by plane, from Mexico City to Ensenada Baja California, and then by helicopter to the San Pedro Martyr Sierra National Park.

Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE)

The Instituto Nacional de Ecología was the leading organization on the Mexican side of the negotiations with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife services to bring the California Condor to Mexico. Now this agency has changed its name to Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Clímatico (INECC), and its main agenda is chiefly climate change.

Costa Salvaje, A. C. and Terra Peninsular, A. C.

These two Baja California conservation organizations were key during the early years of the California condor introduction to the Baja peninsula. They facilitated the US resources to the Mexican condor team.

Colegio de Postgraduados (campus Montecillo)                           

In 2019, this higher-education institution whose main area of research is in natural resources joined the Mexico California Condor Project to study the ecology of the California Condor and its habitat relationships. Some of its students have also joined the Condor Team to study this amazing species. 

Learn more at:

Guadalupe Bravo Professor, Associated Researcher of the College of Postgraduates.

Observatorio Astronómico Nacional en SPM (UNAM)                      

In 1971 the astronomy institute of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) installed the first two telescopes at one of the highest peaks of the San Pedro Martyr Sierra. The dark skies of this mountain range have made this a prime site for astronomical research. The staff at this facility has been of enormous help to the California condor team.

CICESE (Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada)

This higher-education center was the recipient of the first financial resources that were donated for the Mexican California Condor Reintroduction Program, from the San Diego Zoo and, soon afterwards, from SEMARNAT-INE.

CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad)

This Mexican government agency donated considerable financial support for the introduction of the California condor in the San Pedro Martyr Sierra. In June of 2016, they published an article about the Baja California condors in their monthly magazine, BIODIVERSITAS, thereby promoting further awareness of our project.

Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey

The World Center for Birds of Prey began its California condor breeding program in 1993 at their facility in Boise, Idaho. Once the birds become juvenile, they are released in various sites located in Arizona, California, and Baja Mexico. The Peregrine Fund also established a release program at the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona in 1996. Through these programs they have re-established a free-flying population of condors, now surpassing 100 individuals, that spans from the Grand Canyon to Utah. The fund provides annual health examinations for every condor they catch. Recently, the Peregrine Fund confirmed that over half of all condor deaths are due to lead intoxication, which is a clearly avoidable situation. Last season, 87% of the examined condors tested positive for lead exposure.

California Condor Recovery Program

The California Condor Recovery Program is a multi-entity effort, led by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to recover the endangered California condor. It is now in the evaluation and final phase of recovery, focusing on the creation of self-sustaining populations. They are placing increased emphasis on captive-breeding and the reintroduction of California condors to the wild as well as the management of wild populations.


This corporation has supported the California condor program by providing funds and resources through the Baja California Ministry of Economy’s program for environmental compensation.

Oregon Zoo

The Oregon Zoo operates a condor breeding facility at the Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation. Once the captive hatchlings grow into juveniles, they are sent to release sites.

Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza A. C.

This institution managed a portion of SEMARNAT’s financial resources devoted to the protection of endangered species. Thus, the Fund for the Conservation of Endangered Species (FONCER) sponsored the Mexican California condor and its custody.

Local Ranches

Without the willingness and support of the inhabitants of San Pedro Martyr’s surrounding ranches and local airstrip the already strenuous work of research and conservation of species and habitat would seem a lot more difficult to accomplish.


Baja Bush Pilots

This organization has flown and delivered California condors from California, USA, to the Sierra San Pedro Martyr in Baja California Mexico free of charge.

Zacango Zoo                    

The Mexico City division of Zoological Parks negotiated the relocation of three condors that had been human imprinted and therefore lacked any fear of humans in the wild in the Sierra San Pedro Martyr. These condors had been captured once again and held at the Zacango Zoological Park in the State of Mexico. This was accomplished on June the 30th, 2022.

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