The biggest flying bird in the world and a symbolic species in Chile and Andean cultures is threatened by human action. Hunting, ingestion of toxins, crashing into overhead cables, and reduced food sources are some factors that have caused a significantly diminished population. Therefore, Proyecto Manku of AvesChile with Fundación MERI have developed a systematic work for condor conservation, and Fundación Rewilding Chile – former Tompkins Conservation Chile – has joined this collaborative alliance to strengthen the protection, investigation, and education of this species in Patagonia.
Condors and community
Pumalín and Liquiñe, juvenile male and female condors, were baptized according to the places where they were found with severe problems that prevented them from flying. After being attended at the veterinarian clinic from the National Zoo, they were taken to the Centro de Rehabilitación de Aves Rapaces (CRAR, Rehab Center for Birds of Prey) in Talagante to be prepared for the trip to their new home: Patagonia National Park in Aysén region.
These condors will spend two months in a pre-liberation phase in this protected area to acclimatize and habituate to their natural habitat. This way, their chances will be higher for a successful liberation.
This milestone, which will take place in February 2022, will be an open instance to the community to raise awareness about its ecological and cultural value. This work will be strengthened through an environmental educational program, a series of workshops, and talks focused on local communities close to the Patagonia National Park. By implementing ludic methodologies specially designed for students, participants will be able to reflect on how humans relate to and affect the species. Additionally, there will be a lecture in Cochrane led by Eduardo Pavez, director of the Andean Condor Conservation Program from Aves Chile.
Once liberated, Pumalín and Liquiñe will be monitored through satellite transmissions. This way, information can be gathered to gain more knowledge about condors – such as patterns of space use, nesting areas, diet, presence of contaminants, behavior, and threats -, to propel new investigations that promote its conservation.
To run this program, there will be a crowdfunding campaign launching soon here. All money raised will be used to execute this program, from feeding, care, and accompaniment during the acclimatization period and the monitoring after liberation.
Join us on this conservation adventure!