The Spiritual and Ecological Role of the Condor in the North Coast
Tribes along the Klamath River are working to reintroduce the critically endangered condor due to its intrinsic role in both the environment and Indigenous culture. Beginning with the introduction of livestock brought by American presence, and currently exacerbated by the use of lead ammunition by hunters, the disappearance of the California condor from the wild has left a large hole in the spiritual and ecological balance of the region. Tiana WIlliams, a condor biologist of the Yurok tribe, says condors are critical in distributing nutrients throughout the ecosystem due to their unique ability to break into large carcasses, including whales, seals and bears. The presence of condors in the wild is also important to uphold traditions tied to them for generations.