Online Viewers Flock to Name California Condor on San Diego Zoo Global Cam
Apr 6, 2012 - 3:24:18 PM
Video of condor chick in the nest at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (no audio)
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - Saticoy, which means sheltered from the wind in the Chumash language, was chosen by 41 percent of online voters as the name for a California condor that hatched in real time on the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy's Condor Cam.
An online contest generated 93 name suggestions through Facebook and Twitter. Of those, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park's condor keepers picked three names that had an extra-special meaning: Saticoy - sheltered from the wind - the winning name; Moyomin - to be mischievous - was a close second with 40.3 percent of the votes; Maxa'lam - to hold a festival or throw a party - received 18.7 percent of the votes. In total, 4,113 people voted during a one-week period.
"To be able to see a condor egg hatching and observe how the chick develops during the next few months is historic for this endangered species," said Michael Mace, San Diego Zoo Safari Park curator of birds. "The interest people have shown, coupled with naming the chick, is fitting for this unique opportunity. The chick is 'sheltered from the wind' today but in the future could be soaring on winds in the wild."
The chick has gained a loyal following as Condor Cam Watch Video viewers check on the condor family daily to watch new growth developments. Twenty thousand people from as far away as the United Kingdom and France were logged on to Condor Cam on March 10, the day the chick hatched. This historic event marked the first time the public could experience what, for decades, only biologists and condor keepers were able to see, the hatching and growth of an endangered California condor in real time.
The chick's parents, father Sisquoc and mother Shatash, continue to care diligently for the chick, cleaning it, feeding it and keeping it warm. The chick's whitish gray down feathers are beginning to be replaced with darker secondary down feathers. The chick is more active now and can be seen by Condor Cam viewers playing with feathers, stones or other items the adult condors leave in the nest.
As it grows stronger, observers may see the chick begin to hop around the nest testing its wings for future flights, and when the chick is 5 to 6 months old, Condor Cam viewers may witness its first flight! The parents will continue to tend to the chick until it is approximately 1 year old.
Since the California condor recovery program began in the 1980s, when there were only 22 condors left in the world, the Safari Park has hatched 174 chicks and released more than 80 condors in the wild. Today, there are approximately 386 condors, more than half of which are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.
The California Condor Recovery Program is implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, zoos in the U.S. and Mexico, and U.S. and Mexican government agencies. Although listed by the federal government as an endangered species in 1967, the California condor population continued to decline, reaching a critical low of less than two dozen birds. In 1982, the condor breeding program was successfully established at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Los Angeles Zoo. Today, two additional breeding centers are assisting with the recovery of the species at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey and the Oregon Zoo. In addition, condors are part of an education program that allows guests at the San Diego Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo and Mexico City's Chapultepec Zoo to see North America's largest bird up close.
The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM and Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 800-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.
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