Friday, July 17, 2009

Big Sur: Visiting California Condors, Even Virtually

Chances are, the last time you heard news about Big Sur's Ventana Wilderness, it was during the wildfires of 2008, which caused landslides across Hwy. 1 and damaged critical habitat for California condors.

Not only has the Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) rebuilt its bird banding and tracking operations on the Big Sur coast, it has also opened a brand-new visitor center at Andrew Molera State Park. At the Big Sur Discovery Center, you can learn all about the efforts of wildlife biologists and volunteers to save this endangered species. The center is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free.

Can't make it to Big Sur in person? The new website, MyCondor.org, lets you virtually meet wild condors, follow their life stories on the web (or Facebook, if you prefer) and get news from the MyCondor blog. Our favorite wild condor is #171, aka "Traveler" -- a feisty, independent female who can be spotted soaring over an amazing 300 square miles of rugged coastal territory.

Photo: California condor (courtesy of Ventana Wildlife Society)

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