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The California Condor:
A Saga of Natural History and Conservation
Noel Snyder & Helen Snyder

Hardcover | 2000 | This edition is out of print | ISBN: 9780126540055


As the largest flying bird of North America, and one of the most endangered, the California Condor has been a source of tremendous interest and awe. This book offers up-to-date information on both the biology and conservation of the condor, as analyzed by the two most knowledgeable field biologists to have studied the species. The authors present first a thorough review of the history of condor studies and conservation efforts, then a detailed examination of the biology and recent decline of the species, and finally a hopeful plan for ultimate restoration of the species as a viable member of wild ecosystems. The book is illustrated with over a hundred superb color photographs covering numerous aspects of natural history of the species and recent conservation efforts on its behalf. Conservation of the California Condor has always been highly controversial, and this book does not shrink from controversy. Instead it offers a broad and insightful, but nevertheless sympathetic treatment of the many political conflicts of the past century.

Key Features:

  • Reviews historical account of condor biology and conservation
  • Analyzes nest site characteristics and limitations
  • Studies breeding behavior and analyzes breeding effort and success
  • Discusses mortality rates and the causes for their decline and efforts to improve reproduction
  • Discusses the techniques, problems, and results of captive breeding and release programs


"Everyone interested in the preservation of rare and endangered species simply has to read this book. No matter how much you think you know about conservation or about California condors, you will come away from this book with a more sophisticated perspective, and you will understand the process and the politics at a level most people never achieve. . . . I don't hesitate to recommend this as one of the most important books on conservation to appear in many years."--Bird Watcher's Digest

"The most comprehensive popular work ever published on this species. This is a large and lavishly illustrated book, a real bargain for its modest price. . . . [It] deserves wide readership among those interested, not only in endangered species, but also in the science, politics, ethics, and philosophy underpinning the field of conservation biology. . . . The prose is lucid and succinct so that the complex issues are clearly and fairly described. . . . One of the book's major strengths is its apparent even-handedness."--Birding

"Authors Noel and Helen Snyder weave history, biology, and politics into a magnificent saga that chronicles the conservation program, from pinpointing the causes for the bird's population decline to choosing a course of action to save this endangered species."--California Wild

"For those interested in complex species-conservation problems and the associated negotiations and politics, this is a really valuable story. . . . Most technical aspects of the book's production are also of high quality: heavy glossy paper, attractive layout, superb photos, a generous set of acknowledgements, a bibliography of 382 cited references, and a thorough index. . . . Anyone interested in the California Condor or in the conservation of endangered species in general should study this book."--Howard L. Cogswell, Western Birds

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Formerly published by Academic Press

File created: 1/4/2017

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