The CONDOR HUASI project has been created to accomplish the conditional reintroduction of captive Andean condors of Ecuador into the wild. It also includes an educational objective of ‘páramo’ (high-altitude grasslands) conservation for the communities living in the area. The CONDOR HUASI is located in ‘La Rinconada of San Pedro’, in the property of Hacienda Zuleta, in the community of  Zuleta, parish of Angochagua, county of Ibarra, province of Imbabura, Ecuador, South America. The initiative for this project was taken by Dr. Friedman Koster, zoologist and condor expert, and Heide Koster, biologist, with the support of the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation. The planning, management and performance of the project are now under the supervision of the Foundation, with the technical support of Dr.Friedman and Heide Koster. Our condor of the Andes program main objective is the conservation of Ecuador through environmental education, which attempts to raise the level of consciousness of the children and the general population in the area in the importance of the conservation of Ecuador’s wildlife and natural resources, with a focus on the conservation of ‘páramos’. We hope to accomplish this through the following measures: 1. To keep in optimal conditions a group of Andean condors of Ecuador that have suffered human aggressions and come from various types of captivity and therefore face an uncertain future. 2. To have at least one couple of Andean condors that will be able to reproduce in the future, with the aim of establishing new colonies of wild Ecuador condors in specific Ecuadorian locations. 3. By means of educational activities in the communities surrounding Hacienda Zuleta, conservation of Ecuador efforts will be strengthened. CONDOR HUASI’s condors will provide a focus of attention for visitors, to whom it will be easier to educate on the protection of wildlife in the Andes and in other regions of Ecuador. This measure complements the GPL Foundation’s ‘páramo’ wildlife (e.g. spectacled bears) Ecuador conservation project. 4. To establish a group of semi-captive Andean condors. There is a high probability that this group will make contact with Andean wild condors. This will allow us to obtain valuable and detailed information on wild Andean condor colonies and to establish specific feeding sites for them near CONDOR HUASI. As a result, CONDOR HUASI will be able to support this wild condor colony away from the threat of hunters and poachers. The CONDOR HUASI project has been divided into three stages: • CONDOR HUASI (I) involved the preparation of the cages and the transfer of the condors to their new habitat. • CONDOR HUASI (II) includes the educational aspect of the project. The communities located in the surrounding area, with a specific focus on the children, will be educated in order to raise the level of consciousness of environmental conservation. • CONDOR HUASI (III) is the final stage of the project. The condors will become accustomed to flying freely around the area, returning each day to the area of ‘La Rinconada of San Pedro’ to spend the night and be fed. The infrastructure consists of a cage of the following dimensions: length=30m., width=30m., and heigth=8m., divided into three sections. Each section has a shelter against rain and sun and a small pool to provide a fresh water supply for the condors. Hacienda Zuleta and the Anhalzer chicken house are responsible for providing the food for the condors and controlling their diet. Currently CONDOR HUASI has five male condors and one female, ranging in age from 3 to 35 years old. These condors attract other condors to the area; we frequently see wild condors of the Andes flying about and food is provided for them. In addition, condors have been seen in the area performing their mating flight. Today, the situation of the Andean Condor in Ecuador has reached a critical point. There are a maximum of 75 wild condors in the country, which makes them an endangered species. The condors’ food supply has also diminished in recent years, partly due to the decrease in the death rate of cattle (Condors are carrion eaters), which poses yet another threat to their survival. This is why the CONDOR HUASI project provides food for wild Andean condors in order to aid the re-population process and the basic survival of the Condor. Recently, ecological groups with a focus on Andean condor survival have joined together to create a common policy with regard to the protection of this spectacular species.

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