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The California Condor is critically endangered and one of the rarest birds in the world. Although nobody knows exactly how many there were historically, in 1982 there were less than 25 in the wild. Condors were sacred to the Native Americans who lived in the open expanses of western America. After decades of decline this bird almost reached extinction in the late 1970s. Many birds died from poison ingestion or being shot as well as illegal egg collection. Like so many species, they are suffering from a loss of habitat and collisions with power lines. Due to the intense efforts of many conservation organizations there are now 349 living - 186 of them in the wild.