clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Worries Over California Condors Prompts New Study

The last time there was a condo controversy, it involved the Tejon Ranch project. But now the New York Times reports that the Fish and Wildlife Service is initiating a one-year project to study whether marine mammals like sea lions are carrying the pesticide DDT--banned since the 1970s--up the coast, after possibly ingesting the elements of the pesticide off the Palos Verdes Shelf. The concern on the part of the Fish and Wildlife Services is that condors in Northern California like to eat seal lion blubber, and the condors' eggs are showing signs of possible DDT, and scientists believe there may be a connection. The DDT is likely traced to the Montrose Chemical Corporation, which "discharged its untreated DDT waste directly into the Los Angeles County Sanitation District’s sewer system" in the 1950s and 60s, according to the paper. "An estimated 1,700 tons of DDT settled onto the seabed, where it continues to contaminate Pacific Coast waters." In 1982, there were 22 California condors; today, there are about 380 condors in the world.
· New Hurdle for California Condors May Be DDT From Years Ago [NYT]