The Flight of the Condors

Feb 13, 2022 | Chile, Parks, Rewilding

On February 12, 2022, two Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) were released in Patagonia National Park. Satellite transmitters tracking their movements will provide vital details about their behavior, movements and relationships which can help us to create more effective conservation strategies. While Patagonia is home to 75% of the Andean condors in Chile, they are increasingly under threat from ingesting carrion contaminated with poison used to control predators of domestic livestock.

These two condors came from the Raptor Bird Rehabilitation Center where they were rehabilitated after being rescued from other parts of Chile. In their first flights since the release, these juveniles have gradually gained confidence to soar higher and explore their new home in Patagonia National Park. The condors are being monitored by Rewilding Chile’s wildlife ranger Luis Ibacache, and Dominique Durand, executive director of Proyecto Manku.

“Pumalin is flying very well, traveling quite a bit, although he is still not far from the release site. He has concentrated his movements over the valley and Chacabuco River and is currently about 5 km north of the release site. Liquiñe has been doing extraordinarily well. After the release, he spent three days flying over the large cliffs east of the release site, and in the last few hours, he has traveled 18 km into the Chacabuco Valley,” Dominique tells us.

Along with our strategic partners Rewilding Chile, Tompkins Conservation is thrilled to unite for the conservation of this emblematic species. Thanks to the collaborative network driven by Proyecto Manku and Fundacion Meri, it has been an inspiring adventure.