Return of the Condor


Return of the Condor is a riveting account of one of the most dramatic attempts to save a species from extinction in the history of modern conservation.

Down to only 22 individuals in the 1980s, the condor owes its survival and recovery to a remarkable team of scientists who flouted conventional wisdom and pursued the most controversial means to save it. Conservationists and scientists have fought what at times has seemed a quixotic battle to save the species. Theirs is a story of passion, courage, and bitter controversy, one that created a national debate over how to save America’s largest bird.

Return of the Condor chronicles this epic story. We meet Jan Hamber, the biologist who made the agonizing decision to capture AC9, the young male who was the last living wild condor; Carl Koford, the brilliant scientist whose flawed conclusions delayed a captive-breeding program until it was almost too late; and two of the condors whose survival was critical, including AC9, himself. This poignant and inspiring saga shows what can happen when we commit ourselves to working with nature instead of against it.

Finalist for the 2008 William Saroyan International Writing Prize from Stanford University; selected as one of the five best pieces of science journalism in 2007 by the National Association of Science Writers.