The Condor’s Shadow Screened on 24 Oct 2014

The WVC Biology Department and the Global Citizenship Committee are proud to present a special screening of Jeff McLoghlin’s

The Condor’s Shadow

A documentary film on the ongoing challenge of recovering the iconic California condor back from the brink of extinction.

Followed by conversation with lead field biologist for the

Condor Recovery Program at the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Joseph Brandt

Friday 24 October @ 1:00 PM in Fox 120

This event is free and open to everyone.

It is funded by a grant from the Office of the WVC President.

Photo: Jon Myatt/USFWS

Photo: Jon Myatt/USFWS

Set in the ruggedly beautiful Southern California habitat of the iconic California condor, this film explores the great hope and extreme lengths that biologists, zookeepers, scientists and a feisty condor (with the Native American name Pitahsi) go to in order to pull the condor out of near extinction. It is the story of the very first endangered species recovery program, and the challenges faced in returning the prehistoric species Gymnogyps Californianus to an environment that threatens its independent survival. Today, after nearly four decades of committed effort by a range of public and private organizations, a broad shadow hangs over this iconic avian species. Lead poisoning from spent ammunition, micro-trash that birds inexplicably feed their young, and the threat of urban development within their foraging range, fuel an ongoing necessity for human intervention. Nonetheless, the California condor faces a brighter future: in 1982 there was a dwindling population of just 22; today there are over 400 California condors living in their habitat. This film explores the condor’s story and serves as an example of the complexities involved in recovering endangered species.

This film is inspiring and instructional for the WVC community, especially now that the college has focused on recovering its own Vasona Creek from the ravages of urbanization, and restoring it into a vibrant ecosystem, a living laboratory and classroom, and a recreational area for everyone. This film is important not only because we learn about the challenges of conservation projects, but also because we hear about some of the success stories. As a faculty member, that is one of my goals: I want to expose students to scientific research, to the role of science and to what it means to be a scientist. Showing this film and then talking with Joseph Brandt can help to promote the building of community and the shared sense of responsibility for determining what we do with our environment and our irreplaceable natural resources. I believe that building community is the most valuable contribution we can make towards resolving our social, environmental and economic problems. I am very excited to work with the WVC Global Citizenship Committee and to bring this event to the WVC campus!

This entry was composed by Leticia Gallardo, a faculty member in the Biology Department since 2004. She “loves teaching” and believes that “being able to share” her “understanding of the world around us” with her students is one of her “greatest fortunes.” She admits that she “has more hobbies” than she has time for, but that’s “mostly because” she loves “the journey involved in learning a new skill.” 

Over two hundred students, faculty, and other people from in and out of the WVC attended this event! Here are two pictures:

Joseph Brant and Leticia Gallardo. (Photo by Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss)

Joseph Brant and Leticia Gallardo. (Photo by Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss)

The event was packed with an audience that was engaged. (Photo by Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss)

The event was packed with an audience that was engaged. (Photo by Cynthia Napoli-Abella Reiss)

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