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The Region : Roundup of 6 Condors Set

December 27, 1985

Biologists will begin the roundup of the last six California condors left alive in the wilderness early next month, federal officials said. The program is aimed at saving North America's largest bird from extinction. "We want to make sure they stay safe until we're sure we've got a good breeding program," Meg Durham of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in Washington. "We don't want to lose any more, there are too few of them already." Capture of the remaining birds, however, is opposed by the the National Audubon Society. Durham said federal wildlife officials originally had planned to snare only three of the condors, but "we've come to the decision to take all six very reluctantly." Six condors died last winter in the wild, and most of the 21 in captivity--11 at the Los Angeles Zoo and 10 at the San Diego Wild Animal Park--are too young to breed, she said. Two of the six wild birds are female, she said.

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