The Fish and Wildlife Service announced a plan to allow wind energy companies to kill the extremely endangered California condors.
The plan grants a permit to the wind companies, protecting them from legal action “for the potential incidental take of the federally endangered California condor.”
In the 1980s, the California condor became completely extinct in the wild. It is only through conservation efforts and protection from the FWS that condors were returned to the wild.
The population of California condors is increasing. There are 518 birds worldwide according to a 2019 analysis, though less than 350 of those are wild.
Lead toxicosis is currently the leading cause of death for California condors. The large birds are scavengers and eat the carcasses of deer and other game, often including the lead bullets left behind by hunters.
The condor is one of the largest birds in existence, with an estimated 9-foot wingspan and weighing over 20 pounds.