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  turbines alongside hundreds of single- engines and helicopters in support of a growing mission.
The non-profit’s conservation ef- forts are diverse, with projects falling into three types of self-classifications: Flagship Projects, Strategic Projects and Flights of Opportunity. Flagship Projects are large-scale, multi-year initiatives in which the organization works with many partners toward achieving long-term goals. These projects result in hundreds of flights over several years and address the biggest conservation issues of our age. Examples range from “Restor- ing the Everglades” to “Conserving the ColoradoRiver”to“MonitoringCalifornia Marine Protected Areas” and others.
Flagship Projects
Lee Pagni, LightHawk’s foundation relations manager and pilot, speaks about one of the group’s key flagship projects and the irreplaceable impact that aviation has had:
“Over the last five years, LightHawk has worked with many of the partners involved in California condor recov- ery. The very successful captive breed- ing program often involves moving birds and even eggs from one facility to another for re-pairing to increase genetic diversity or moving juveniles to the field sites to be released to the wild. LightHawk flights have made these transfers much smoother and safer for condors, reducing the likeli- hood of ‘capture myopathy,’ a condi- tion caused by excessive stress during transport. In just the last two years, we have transported six adult birds and one egg between breeding centers, and 13 juvenile condors for release to the wild flocks in California. And with radio telemetry antennas mounted on airplanes, these flights also enable bi- ologists from Pinnacles National Park and the Santa Barbara Zoo to locate missing wild birds when they go out of range of the hard-working field crews tracking from the ground. Keeping close tabs on these birds is important for their recovery, as sources of lead in the environment still pose a threat to the species. When scavenging birds, like condors, eat the remains of car- casses shot with lead ammunition,
David Clark
 March 2020 / TWIN & TURBINE • 9

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