Time: Refreshments at 7:30PM, program at 8:00 PM


Cost: Free


Speaker: Ralph Schardt


Topic: Condors' Return to Pinnacles



California Condors


Description: In1987, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service captured the last of 27 California Condors in the wild and placed them in a captive breeding program. Hopes were that the species would be saved from total extinction and they would eventually be returned to the wild. The survivors mated, and with plenty of help from various agencies, volunteers, and determined scientists, there are now over 400 birds in total with close to 300 now released and flying, breeding, and recovering in the skies of Baja Mexico, Arizona and California, with several more sites being evaluated.

The California Condor is the largest bird in North America with an average wing span of over 3 meters. The “Condors' Return to Pinnacles” is a photo-chronology covering the project at Pinnacles National Monument by photographer and naturalist Ralph W. Schardt. For our lecture, Ralph will provide a photo presentation of the work done at Pinnacles N.M. to bring this amazing species back from near extinction to the home it knew over 100 years ago. He will give us an update of the Condor program currently running in our National Parks and other public lands in the western United States.

Ralph has been a free-lance nature photographer for over 25 years. His work has been widely published in various magazines and newsprint throughout the Bay Area. He offers beginning classes in outdoor photography with non-profit organizations, as well as providing classes and trips for members of the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society where he has held the position of Executive Director for the last two years. In the past 15 years he has worked with various outdoor organizations and was the co-founder of the REI field photography Outdoor Adventures program.