Despite frequent depiction as a bird of California and the desert southwest, North America's largest avian scavenger once graced the skies of the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to British Columbia. This important volume documents the condor's history in the region, from prehistoric times to the early twentieth century, and explores the challenges of reintroduction.
Jesse D'Elia and Susan Haig investigate the paleontological and observational record as well as the cultural relationships between Native American tribes and condors, providing the most complete assessment to date of the condor's occurrence in the Pacific Northwest. They evaluate the probable causes of regional extinction and the likelihood that condors once bred in the region, and they assess factors that must be considered in determining whether they could once again thrive in Northwest skies.
Incorporating the newest research and findings and more than eighty detailed historical accounts of human encounters with these birds of prey, California Condors in the Pacific Northwest sets a new standard for examining the historical record of a species prior to undertaking a reintroduction effort. It is a vital reference for academics, agency decision makers, conservation biologists, and readers interested in Northwest natural history. California Condors in the Pacific Northwest is beautifully illustrated by Ram Papish and includes a number of previously unpublished photographs.
"The re-creation of a viable population of condors in the Northwest would constitute an achievement of substantial importance [...] This book goes a long way toward justifying such an effort."
– Noel Snyder, retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist in charge of condor research in the 1980s and lead author of The California Condor: A Saga of Natural History and Conservation
"Meticulous, balanced and thorough, California Condors in the Pacific Northwest is top-level, definitive research written in a clear, understandable way that any reader can enjoy and professionals can rely on. An impeccable tour-de-force on condors from northern California to Canada, it is also science writing at its finest. Whether you are interested in early ornithology of the west, use of birds in Native American culture, or technical aspects of condor life history, this is the book you will open first – and often."
– Alan Contreras, co-editor, Birds of Oregon