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California condor making comeback after brush with extinction

The endangered California condor is making a comeback in the wild three decades after the giant bird went nearly extinct.

Biologists attribute the revival to captive-breeding programmes and reduced use of lead ammunition near condor feeding grounds.

One of the world's largest birds, the condor once patrolled the sky from Mexico to British Columbia.

But its population plummeted in the 20th century due to hunting, habitat destruction and lead poisoning.

There are now roughly 450 condors, including about 270 in the wild in California, Arizona, Utah and Mexico.

Plans are under way to release some captive-bred condors near the California-Oregon border in 2019.

Federal officials say that for the first time in nearly 40 years, condors are roosting in the Blue Ridge National Wildlife Refuge in California's southern Sierra Nevada.


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