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El hornero

Print version ISSN 0073-3407On-line version ISSN 1850-4884


LAMBERTUCCI, Sergio A.. Biology and conservation of the Andean Condor in Argentina. Hornero [online]. 2007, vol.22, n.2, pp.149-158. ISSN 0073-3407.

The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is currently distributed along western South America. Although it is considered a near threatened species, included in CITES I, little is known about many aspects of its biology. Here, I present a review of the biology and conservation status of the Andean Condor, focusing on the available information for Argentina. I also suggest research needs to promote its conservation. The Andean Condor populations have been critically reduced in the northern portion of its distributional range. Southern populations are healthier but some signs of retraction still remain. This species has one of the lowest reproductive rates and highest survival rates among birds. Behavioural characteristics (large aggregations to feed and roost) make the Andean Condor very vulnerable to environmental disturbances that may cause a massive loss of individuals, considering that it has a slow demographic response. Some of the current threats to condors include the false belief that it is a hunter species, poisoning and lead consumption, electrocution, furtive hunting, competition for food, and traps, among others. It is necessary to estimate population numbers and trends as well as survival rates, to weigh up the mortality factors, to detect important areas for the species, and to determine the distribution and availability of food in each country. The biology of the Andean Condor together with the lack of knowledge and the human caused threats create a dangerous combination for its survival.

Keywords : Andean Condor; Argentina; Cathartidae; Conservation; Vulnerability; Vultur gryphus.

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