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Ecuador's Andean Condor Population Is Dangerously Low

The Andean Condor is one of the largest flying birds in the world, and a symbol of the Andes. It is the one of the three animals, for example, that defined the Incan trinity symbolized so often in their art. Today, the species is near threatened worldwide, and is listed as “critically endangered” in the country of Ecuador. Where once flew thousands of condors, now fewer than 100 remain.

The Project

Part of the reason we at Global Basecamps love our work is that often times, we find opportunities where travel and conservation work in unity. One of our favorite lodges in Ecuador, Hacienda Zuleta, is also home to the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation. The foundation’s “Condor Huasi Project” pursues a goal of breeding Andean Condor chicks and releasing them into the wild. The project rescues injured condors, rehabilitates them, and hopefully introduces them to viable mates. (A dating service for condors!)

So far, this goal has led the project on a long road. Over the past ten years, four chicks from three viable mating pairs have all died prematurely. Then in 2015, a fifth chick hatched named “Churi” (Son). Churi is healthy, and the project is confident he will soon be ready to be introduced into the wild. Churi will be released with two other adult condors, Killary and Huaira, because freshly released condors survive better when released in groups.

Hacienda Zuleta

Our Involvement

The condor as a species is burdened with many traits that make it difficult to track and study. Very little scientific data exists surrounding nesting and breeding sites of the condor, and public education about the importance of protecting these birds is lacking. To help curb these problems, the Condor Huasi Project needs to purchase a tag and monitoring equipment to track Churi throughout his life. They are currently raising $15,000 to buy this equipment.

This equipment will help answer many questions about the Andean Condor. Where do they go when released? How and where are they dying? Where do they nest? This is all vital information for the ultimate goal of rejuvenating this population in Ecuador.

Global Basecamps is proud to support this project, in the hopes of maintaining this iconic animal for the benefit future travelers, and Andean cultural heritage.

We invite our travelers to contribute as well. Click below to help reach the project's goal of $15,000!

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