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For Immediate Release, April 10, 2009

Contact:  Adam Keats, (415) 632-5304

Private Investigator Hired in Condor Shootings;
Reward Increases to $40,500 for Capture of Shooter

SAN FRANCISCO— The Center for Biological Diversity has hired a private investigator to assist in efforts to apprehend the person or people responsible for the recent shootings of two endangered California condors. The Center also announced that the total reward fund has increased to more than $40,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters.

“We’re doing everything we can to help solve this crime,” said Adam Keats, director of the center’s Urban Wildlands Program. “Condors are special birds, still critically endangered, and need to be experienced by our children and grandchildren as something more than just a footnote to history.”

The hiring of private investigator Bruce Robertson of Los Angeles highlights the importance of the two condors to the critically endangered species, of which just over 80 fly wild in California. Facing near-extinction due to severe lead poisoning, the total population of California condors is about 320, with about half in captivity and the rest flying free in California, Arizona, and Baja, Mexico.

The total reward of $40,500 reflects the generous pledges made by several different organizations, including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Wendy P. McCaw Foundation, and the Humane Society.

The California Department of Fish and Game announced earlier this week that biologists found a juvenile female condor, “#375,” suffering from lead poisoning and with three shotgun pellets lodged in her wing and thigh. This discovery came just three weeks after biologists found condor “#286” with 15 shotgun pellets lodged in its body. Both condors were part of the flock located near Big Sur and the central coast of California.

Anyone with information regarding the shooting should call the Center’s condor investigation hotline at (415) 632-5300, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (916) 414-6660, or the California Department of Fish and Game's CalTIP  Program at 1-(888)-DFG-CALTIP.

More information on the California condor is available at: www.savethecondors.org.

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