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

High amounts of spring runoff cause swelling of rivers across the state....

Curt Gresseth

What to do if someone — even you — falls into a river

An expert on water safety and rescue shares advice on what to do if someone -- or even you -- falls into a river, now being driven by ice-cold spring runoff.

1 hour ago

A mountain lion shows its teeth, a sign of aggression....

Mariah Maynes

What do you do if you encounter a mountain lion?

As more people begin to participate in summer recreation activities, the DWR provided tips for preventing and surviving mountain lion encounters.

20 hours ago

David Gordon of North Ogden starts to flip off his innertube on the Weber River near Henefer on Thu...

Mariah Maynes

DWR partners with concessionaire to manage popular Weber River tubing area

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said that it has partnered with a private concessionaire to manage a popular tubing area.

3 days ago

Fresh snow covers slopes at Snowbird, a body was found at snowbird on monday...

Mariah Maynes

Body of missing skier found at Snowbird

Authorities said that they found a body at Snowbird Ski Resort after they received a call about an overdue skier.

3 days ago

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased ...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

Summit County to acquire largest open space in its history for $55 million

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased after grant funding is made available in 2025.

5 days ago

container garden shown...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

How to plant in a container garden

Maria, Taun, and their guest cover practical tips on how to successfully plant a vibrant container garden. Listen to the KSL Greenhouse show.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

DWR, Peregrine Project ask hunters to help protect California condors