|National Parks in the U.S. and Argentina Join Forces: Partnership Helps Endangered Condors Take Flight
WASHINGTON – 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 Perez Gabilondo, Pinnacles National Monument Superintendent Eric Brunnemann, 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 skies.
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.