By Martin Lentz
Where it is found
In pre-colonial times, the California Condor roamed most of the continental United States, but more recently was found in the western and south-western United States. They live in rocky shrubland and coniferous forests, near tall trees and cliffs where they nest.
Why is it endagered
The California Condor became endangered because it was often poached, suffered from the biological magnification of various poisons like lead and DDT, as well as habitat destruction in the south-western US.
Why is it important?
The California Condor is ecologically important because it is a scavenger. It feeds on the carcasses of large animals and helps speed up the decomposition process. The California Condor has a large spiritual significance to many Native American tribes. These Native Americans are a vital sector of the US economy and their spiritual happiness and well-being is directly correlated to the amount they consume and contribute to the economy. The California Condor must be protected to ensure this vital part of the US economy continues to thrive.