Story at a glance

  • The energy company will pay more than $500,000 over three years to raise six condors at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation.
  • “Our goal is to minimize the risk of mortalities. We see this as a win for condors,” Amy Parsons, operations wildlife compliance manager at Avangrid Renewables, said.
  • While there’s no documented cases of a wind turbine at the Manzana plant killing or injuring any condors in the region, the energy company’s proposed mitigation plan estimates up to two adult condors and each of their two chicks or two eggs will die by a fatal injury over a 30-year period.

A wind energy company is partnering with federal wildlife authorities to help breed critically endangered California condors that may be threatened by giant wind turbines, The Associated Press (AP) reports. 

Avangrid Renewables operates wind turbines as part of its Manzana wind power project in Kern County, Calif., and will now finance the breeding of the condors in captivity to replace any that may be killed by turbine blades. 


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While there’s no documented cases of a wind turbine at the Manzana plant killing or injuring any condors in the region, the energy company’s proposed mitigation plan estimates up to two adult condors and each of their two chicks or two eggs will die by a fatal injury over a 30-year period, according to AP. 

Avangrid will be “working with a captive breeding facility to fund the breeding of additional condors for release into the wild,” Scott Sobiech, field supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (FWS) Service’s Carlsbad and Palm Springs office, said in a statement. 

The energy company will pay more than $525,000 over three years to raise six condors at the Oregon Zoo’s Jonsson Center for Wildlife Conservation, one of four facilities that breeds and raises condors. The condors would be raised in captivity until they are 18 months old then they will be released into the wild. 

“Our goal is to minimize the risk of mortalities. We see this as a win for condors,” Amy Parsons, operations wildlife compliance manager at Avangrid Renewables, told The Los Angeles Times

The mitigation effort also includes $10,000 a year for veterinary treatments and transportation of the birds to release sites. The effort is expected to start as early as spring. 

There are currently 181 California condors in captivity and 337 in the wild. 

The California condor, which is the largest North American land bird, nearly became extinct in the wild in the '80s but has since been reintroduced in Arizona, Utah and California. 


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Published on Mar 02, 2021