California Condor
© Douglas Croft

California Condor

Defenders in Action: Condor Habitat

Defenders is proud to be one of the many groups that helped bring the condor back from extinction, but challenges remain. Ongoing development, including large-scale wind and solar projects, continues to pose a threat to condor habitat.

The Problem

Broad scale development has always threatened condor habitat, but today, with the rush to explore green energy solutions, numerous massive wind and solar energy farms are planned throughout California and the southwest. If these renewable energy projects aren’t planned “smart from the start” they could have a devastating impact on habitat as well as individual condors and countless other birds and animals.

How We're Helping

Defenders’ staff in California and the southwest are working closely with federal and state agencies, as well as renewable energy companies, to develop long-term “smart from the start” wind and solar energy development plans that protect key landscapes, including condor habitat.

Where We Are Today

Defenders has partnered with several solar energy producers to make sure new plans for solar energy sites take into account the need to protect wildlife even as they chart a new renewable energy course for our country.

We also engage with wind energy producers, and are closely tracking the progress of federal policies that could determine how wind energy projects are allowed to impact condors. We meet regularly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to offer our expertise as they create and implement these important regulations.

Defenders is also working toward making condor country a lead-free zone. Despite the great strides made in the past to protect condors from this toxin, lead is still present in many areas. Currently, we are working on a plan to reduce lead exposure in the condor’s range in the southern Sierra region.