Efforts to save the critically endangered California condor suffered a setback last week when four 3-month-old chicks died of the West Nile virus, biologists said.
Their demise leaves just eight condor hatchlings at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho. These are the first condors to die from the mosquito-borne virus at the center. Bill Heinrich, the center’s species restoration manager, said the deaths weren’t a devastating blow to the breeding program. But the facility will release fewer condors into the wild this year than last.