2012: Wild Andean Condor Monitoring and Captive Breeding Program Setup

Quito Zoo and Galo Plaza Lasso Foundacion, Ecuador.


Project Overview

The Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation was born in 1995, in the beautiful Andean countryside of Zuleta, and its principal goal is to revive the thinking of ex-President of Ecuador Galo Plaza Lasso, one of the foremost representatives of liberalism in Ecuador.

Since then the Foundation has worked together with the community of Zuleta with projects Condor Huasi, Zuleta Embroidery and the library of Zuleta which are making a significant difference in the local community, focussing on education, conservation and development. 

The Condor Huasi was set up in 1995 to house Andean Condors rescued from the wildlife pet trade. Rucu, Coya, Ayu, Pimampiro, Reina Pacha, Inti and Tarishka are unable to be released due to lead bullets imbedded in them, a broken leg and lacking the skills to survive in the wild.

They've been well looked after at the Galo Plaza Lasso homestead eversince. They have had upgraded aviaries, to provide them with more space to hop around, interact and do short flights. 

At the time of this project period they had also just been dna tested and paired up in suitable male : female pairs in the hopes of breeding for release. 


  • To develop an enrichment regime for 7 rescued captive Andean Condors for their mental and physical helath. 

  • To develop enrichment to encourage mating behaviours between the three paired Condors (with eggs to be sent to another site for fture release). 

  • To monitor the wild Codnors utilising the protected area. 

  • To monitor the wild Andean Bears utilising the protected area. 

  • To educate visitors to the site such as local school groups, locals and tourists. 

  • To engage with the local people, to forge excellent working relationships between the future project staff and locals. 


  • A pair of wild Andean Condors were seen mating in the protected area for the first time! 

  • All three pairs of captive condors began displaying mating behaviours. 

  • At least two Andean Bears, and a young cub were seen in the protected area - a positive sign for future generations. 

  • One pair of condors laid an egg a few days after the five weeks. 

  • Numerous tourists and local children were educated about the Andean Condors and the importance of conserving them for future. 

  • We were educated by the local people about Pacha Mama, their way of life, and the threats posed to them and their livelihood by people and wildlife. 

  • We were able to discuss these issues and learn about some of their solutions and help them develop others, in a way that promotes a healthy respect for wildlife and sustainability.