Recovery of the California Condor

Activity Name: Recovery of the California Condor

Submitting Organization: San Diego Zoo Global

Grade Levels: 6th, 7th, 8th

Subject Area:  Science

Standards Alignment: Next Generation Science Standards


Description of the Activity:

This lesson introduces students to the critically endangered California condor, factors for decline, and one technique for determining gender in sexually monomorphic bird species (karyotyping). Students analyze California condor chromosomes in order to determine gender, just like scientists do to inform captive breeding efforts.

Discussion Questions:

  • How do the sex chromosomes of birds differ from those of mammals?
  • What is the role of zoos in conservation?
  • Why is it important to determine gender in critically endangered bird species?

Resources Needed:

  • Printer/copy machine
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Scrap paper

Link to further resources: