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National Parks in U.S., Argentina Team Up for Condor Conservation

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Two of the world’s largest and most endangered birds will benefit from a
sister park agreement signed today by the directors of the National
Park Service and Argentina’s Administracion de Parques Nacionales.

This formal partnership uniting Pinnacles National Monument in
California and Parque Nacional Quebrada del Condorito in Cordoba will
strengthen condor conservation efforts at both sites.

“These two national parks are located in different countries but
are connected by their efforts to protect similar resources,” said
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “They have comparable
terrain and features, but most importantly, they have both played a
vital role in the return of the condor. Due to incredible conservation
efforts at and between the parks, the majestic bird once again soars
over these areas.”

“These two parks have already shared scientific expertise while
working together on condor recovery projects,” said Administracion de
Parques Nacionales President Dr. Patricia Gandini. “This pact will
enable us to continue to coordinate information and research efforts on
common issues including resource protection, educational programs, and
community outreach.”

Jarvis and Gandini expressed gratitude to many present at the
ceremony who actively support the partnership, including Congressman Sam
Farr (D-CA), Argentine diplomat José Luis Santiago Peraz Gabilndo,
Pinnacles National Monument Superintendent Eric Brunneman, Rotary
International member Peter Anderson, and Pinnacles Partnership
representative David Cole.

The California condor is the largest North American land bird; it
weighs about 20 pounds, is four feet long, has a nine-foot wingspan, and
can glide for miles without flapping its wings. By 1982, only 22
existed, and a conservation plan was hatched to capture and breed the
species. Today, Pinnacles National Monument is home to 28 of 189 free
flying California condors.

The Andean condor is the largest flying bird on earth and shares
many physical attributes with its cousin the California condor. It is a
national symbol of Argentina and plays an important role in South
American folklore and mythology. Local conservation efforts have ensured
that this powerful, yet threatened, bird will continue to roam the

This is the first sister park partnership to form under an official
Memorandum of Understanding signed between the National Park Service
and the Administracion de Parques Nacionales in 1997. The agencies hope
that today’s bi-lateral agreement is the first step in reinvigorating
cooperation in park matters between the two nations.

The National Park Service currently has 37 sister park
relationships between U.S. and foreign protected areas that share
similar natural or cultural resources and/or management issues.

From National Park Service

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