California Condor
© Douglas Croft

California Condor

Success Stories


The condor’s tale is one of the Endangered Species Act’s greatest success stories and a testament to our nation’s commitment to protecting our natural heritage.

This magnificent bird almost disappeared from the face of the earth because of careless human activity, including habitat destruction, illegal shootings, and lead poisoning. But it was careful human intervention that saved it. And thanks to the hard work of numerous individuals and groups, including Defenders of Wildlife, the condor is soaring once again over the mountains of the American West. Many challenges remain, and careful monitoring of the condors’ progress will always be necessary but, without a doubt, the condor is one tale of near-extinction in which we can all take pride.

California Goes Lead-Free

Defenders and our conservation partners worked in the California State Legislature to pass a bill that would require non-lead ammunition for all hunting statewide. This legislation will phase in the non‐lead ammunition requirement over a three‐year period after allowing the Fish and Game Commission eighteen months to develop a plan that mitigates the impact on ammunition manufacturers, retailers and hunters. On October 11, 2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law. Read more on our blog >