The Sequoia Park Zoo incorporates wildlife conservation as an essential part of our mission. We help fund conservation field work, spread awareness about threats to wildlife and habitats, and inspire conservation action among our visitors. Although our zoo is small, we make a significant conservation impact! 

Click the tabs below to learn about our Zoo’s many conservation initiatives.

  1. Northern California Condor Restoration Program

The Sequoia Park Zoo works with the Yurok Tribe and many other agencies listed below to support the wild California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) in its historic territory in Humboldt County! 


As the endangered California condors are scavengers, they were driven to near extinction in the 1980s primarily from swallowing poisonous lead ammunition pieces within shot animSequoia Park Zoo’s Condor Care Center as designed by Greenway carcasses. The population dropped to only 22 individual condors. Zoos have been breeding the remaining California condors since the 1980s and releasing them back into the wild at five locations. The California condor population has grown enough that we had the opportunity to reintroduce them locally at a new, sixth location on Yurok Ancestral Territory in Northern California in May 2022! The Yurok Tribe operates this program and has been instrumental in making this reintroduction a reality. The release site is overseen by Yurok Tribe Biologists.

Our Role 

The Sequoia Park Zoo plays an integral role in the Northern California Condor’s Restoration Program. The Zoo built and staffs a treatment facility for rehabilitating any sick, injured, or orphaned condors from the new population in Northern California. The construction of this Condor Care Center was funded by generous Sequoia Park Zoo donors, a State of the Birds grant, and through the Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation Program.

condor handling NKThis new Condor Care Center will not be open to the public. For their safety, these wild condors must retain a healthy fear of humans, and we do not want them accustomed to seeing humans regularly or associating them with food. The building will be located behind-the-scenes at the Zoo and ready to help California condors any time there is an illness or injury, which we hope never happens! Unfortunately, we know that California condors at other release sites have still required human intervention to treat lead poisoning and other health issues, so our Zoo staff will be ready to act.

Sequoia Park Zoo staff already have extensive experience handling birds. However, Sequoia Park Zoo’s zoo keepers travel to train with experienced California condor teams in order to learn the care and handling techniques from zoos that have been working with the California condor recovery program for decades. Our staff have worked with Los Angeles Zoo staff at Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge and with Oregon Zoo staff at their California condor facility.

Pictured: Zookeepers Nate Krickhahn, Lindsecondor handling RMLMy Miller, and Ruth Mock training with California condors during their required examinations. To avoid unnecessary exposure to humans, our staff has opportunities to train with other California condor teams only when the condors would be otherwise handled.

Northern California Condor Restoration Program Participants: 

  1. Butterfly Conservation Program
  1. Quarters for Conservation
  1. Conservation Grants
  1. Native Plants Initiative
  1. Conservation Lecture Series
  1. Conservation at the Zoo

Conservation Fund

These initiatives are supported through the Zoo’s Conservation Fund, with funds sourced through our Quarters for Conservation program, Roundup for Conservation program, grants, and donations.

Established in 2011, Sequoia Park Zoo’s Conservation Fund allows the Zoo to directly impact local and global conservation by providing financial support to select organizations and field projects. We award conservation grants each year, donate to worldwide conservation efforts, offer a free conservation lecture series, and contribute annually to field conservation efforts focused on species at our Zoo (currently Red Panda Network, Northern California Condor Restoration Program, Paso Pacifico, Proyecto Tagua, Proyecto Titi, and Save Nature).

Conservation Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Sequoia Park Zoo Conservation Advisory Committee is to support the Zoo’s conservation mission. The Committee recommends conservation projects and organizations to support with the Zoo’s Conservation Fund, raises public awareness of relevant conservation issues, and proposes fundraising ideas for the Conservation Fund.

The Sequoia Park Zoo Conservation Advisory Committee is comprised of Zoo staff, Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation board members, Zoo members, scientific advisors, and community members. 

The Conservation Advisory Committee currently has 9 members:

  • Ruth Mock, Ph.D, Director of Conservation and Research
  • Jim Campbell-Spickler, Zoo Director
  • Vanessa Blount
  • Christine Damiani, Ph.D
  • Lisa Embree
  • Micaela Szykman Gunther, Ph.D
  • David Juliano
  • Candy Stockton
  • Gretchen Ziegler