DWR, Peregrine Project ask hunters to help protect California condors

Oct 4, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2023, 10:31 am

A California condor with its wings outstretched....

A California condor flies. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

(Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and The Peregrine Fund are asking hunters to help protect California condors. 

Threats to California condors

In a press release, the DWR said California condors were previously endangered. In 1967, they were listed under the predecessor to the Endangered Species Act.

The DWR said by 1982, only 23 were left. 

One of the  23 California condors was in captivity. Eventually, the other 22 condors were captured and placed into captivity for preservation. 

A captive breeding program helped protect the species from extinction. By 1992, condors were soaring through the skies again, according to the DWR. 

Since their rescue from the brink of extinction, the population is now around 500 birds. Ninety-three of these 500 birds live in the wild in Arizona and southern Utah, according to the DWR.

Despite the population growth, lead poisoning continues to threaten the birds. It is the leading cause of death for the condors living in Arizona and southern Utah, according to DWR Avian Conservation Program Coordinator Russell Norvell.

“The primary source of that lead is the remains of shot animals, a common meal for condors and other scavenging wildlife,” Norvell wrote in the press release. 

The Hunters Helping Condors program was launched in Utah in 2011 to prevent the birds from getting lead poisoning from hunting ammunition. 

“The Hunters Helping Condors program is helping to reduce lead exposure, which is helping in the recovery of these unique birds that play an important role in the ecosystem,” wrote Norvell. 

How hunters can help

The DWR requested that those visiting the Zion hunting unit stop in at check stations. To encourage participation, the DWR said eligible hunters can enter to win one of five gift cards.

To be able to enter to win a prize, big game hunters have to show the non-lead ammunition they used or provide proof they have removed all the remains of their harvested animals from the field.

The gift cards are worth $800 each and they are for outdoor equipment, according to a press release from the DWR. The Peregrine Foundation provided the gift cards. 

The DWR said check stations will be open from 11 a.m. to dusk. 

Check stations are in place at the following locations:

  • The intersection of Yellowjacket Road and Hancock Road.  
  • On SR-14 in Cedar Canyon, east of Cedar City. 

The DWR said both locations will be open on Oct. 11, 14-15, 21-24, and 28-29. 

Additionally, the DWR issues coupons for free or discounted ammunition prior to the beginning of hunting season. Hunters can get them when they obtain a big-game hunting permit for the Zion Unit.

Related reading:  

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

Midway Ice Castles tickets on sale...

Devin Oldroyd

Tickets for Midway Ice Castles are now on sale for January opening

The weather will dictate the opening, but the Midway Ice Castles exhibit is currently scheduled to be open between Jan. 13 and Feb. 3.

10 hours ago

As ski season commences, UDOT wants to make sure those traveling to Utah's ski resorts follow the p...

Waverly Golden

Some Utah ski resorts have new parking policies, don’t get fined

As ski season commences, UDOT wants to make sure those traveling to Utah's ski resorts follow the parking policies in place.

11 hours ago

A 37-year-old man was rescued after suffering a lower-leg fracture while BASE jumping in Grand Coun...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko KSL.com

2 BASE jumpers rescued in separate incidents near Moab over holiday weekend

Two BASE jumpers were rescued in separate incidents after being injured near Moab over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

1 day ago

Lehi City is starting a new winter tradition and has converted a baseball field into a temporary ic...

Eric Cabrera

Lehi City builds temporary ice rink at Sports Complex

Lehi City is starting a new winter tradition and has converted a baseball field into a temporary ice rink. It will be open until Jan. 26.

3 days ago

A woman pushes a stroller on the sidewalk near the Christmas Lights at The Church of Jesus Christ o...


Where will Temple Square Christmas lights be located this year?

The lights will be turned on from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. every evening and from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. every morning between through New Year's Day.

5 days ago

Fresh snow falls on skiers at Alta Ski Area on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021....

Mariah Maynes

Alta Ski Area to open November 25, but recommends skiing for “experts only”

Alta Ski Area announced that it will open for the 2023/24 season on Saturday, November 25.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

DWR, Peregrine Project ask hunters to help protect California condors