Paper pub. date
June 2013
ISBN 9780870717000 (paperback)
6 x 9 inches, 184 pages. Black and white photographs and illustrations.

California Condors in the Pacific Northwest

Jesse D'Elia and Susan M. Haig
Foreword by Noel Snyder

Despite frequent depiction as a bird of California and the desert southwest, North America’s largest avian scavenger once graced the skies of the Pacific Northwest, from northern California to British Columbia. This important volume documents the condor’s history in the region, from prehistoric times to the early twentieth century, and explores the challenges of reintroduction.

Jesse D’Elia and Susan Haig investigate the paleontological and observational record as well as the cultural relationships between Native American tribes and condors, providing the most complete assessment to date of the condor’s occurrence in the Pacific Northwest. They evaluate the probable causes of regional extinction and the likelihood that condors once bred in the region, and they assess factors that must be considered in determining whether they could once again thrive in Northwest skies.

Incorporating the newest research and findings and more than eighty detailed historical accounts of human encounters with these birds of prey, California Condors in the Pacific Northwest sets a new standard for examining the historical record of a species prior to undertaking a reintroduction effort. It is a vital reference for academics, agency decision makers, conservation biologists, and readers interested in Northwest natural history. The volume is beautifully illustrated by Ram Papish and includes a number of previously unpublished photographs.

Download the book cover.

About the author

Jesse D’Elia is a supervisory fish and wildlife biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Regional Office in Portland, Oregon. He works on a wide array of endangered species issues throughout the Pacific Northwest and Pacific Islands and is co-lead of the interagency Pacific Northwest California Condor Working Group. He is a also a PhD candidate at Oregon State University. He lives in Sherwood, Oregon.

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Susan M. Haig is a professor of wildlife ecology at Oregon State University and retired senior scientist at the US Geological Survey’s Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center in Corvallis, Oregon and a long-time research associate of the Smithsonian Institution. She is one of four women to have achieved the rank of Senior Scientist (ST) in USGS and was the first woman wildlife faculty member at OSU. She is a former president of the American Ornithologists’ Union and former president of the Audubon Society of Corvallis. She and her graduate students have studied endangered species in Micronesia, Brazil, Australia, etc., and in Oregon have worked on Spotted Owls, Snowy Plovers, California Condors, and many wetland species across the state.

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"Meticulous, balanced and thorough, California Condors in the Pacific Northwest is top-level, definitive research written in a clear, understandable way that any reader can enjoy and professionals can rely on. An impeccable tour-de-force on condors from northern California to Canada, it is also science writing at its finest. Whether you are interested in early ornithology of the west, use of birds in Native American culture, or technical aspects of condor life history, this is the book you will open first—and often." —Alan Contreras, co-editor, Birds of Oregon

"Recently I stood at an overlook in the Columbia Gorge, the wind in my face. The clouds chased the sun, the waves sparkled on the Columbia River far below me, and I was struck by the thought of the California condors soaring on the winds again. D'Elia and Haig's careful and thorough research for their book, California Condors in the Pacific Northwest will make the reader think it is possible." -- Barb Kubik, We Proceeded On

Read the OSU news release.

Read the USGS news release.



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