The California Condor is one of the world's rarest birds, with just over 300 individuals in existence. Although believed to have once roamed across the whole of the U.S. continent, with evidence suggesting their range extended from British Columbia to Baja and across the southern U.S. to Florida, by the 1940s the species was limited to six counties in California north of Los Angeles. In1987 the population had been reduced to only 22 individuals living in the mountains above Santa Barbara. All 22 were captured and placed into a captive breeding program. The current population number now consists of both birds in captivity and those which have been released back into the wild with around 150 individuals in both populations. The individuals living in the wild can be found only in California, Baja and northern Arizona. Although the future looks a lot brighter for these huge birds, they still face threats from lead poisoning and predators.
Interesting fact #1: To avoid condor chicks becoming accustomed to human presence in captivity, chicks are fed by a human wearing a glove shaped like an adult California Condor to fool the condor chick into thinking it's being fed by its parent!