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4 Condors Readied for Move Into Wilds

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With final paperwork complete, scientists at the Ventura-based Condor Recovery Program are preparing to move four endangered chicks from a rearing site north of Fillmore to the wilds of eastern San Luis Obispo County.

The chicks, which have been prepared for the wild at the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in the hills north of Fillmore, will be set free at Castle Crags in Los Padres National Forest in San Luis Obispo County later this month.

Scientists have already begun to prepare the area, which is 40 miles northwest of the site in Santa Barbara County where 13 of the giant vultures now fly free.

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The four chicks have been held at the rearing facility since August, undergoing aversion training that teaches them to stay clear of such hazards as power poles.

Five condors have died since 1993 due to the birds’ interaction with civilization. Three died in collisions with power lines and poles, one died after eating antifreeze, and another died after eating weatherstripping.

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