Condor Calling: Ethno-ornithology in the Peruvian Andes

Date and Time: 
Friday, 13 April, 2012 - 18:00 to 18:20
SAULT, Nicole - Sally Glean Center for the Avian Arts

Throughout the Peruvian Andes condors embody key values, but they are also caught up in various conflicts that swirl through the air. While biologists and ornithologists have studied condors, their cultural meaning has not yet been fully addressed. Condors are valued but they are also controversial. Biologists do not agree on the actual numbers of condors and what is causing populations to dwindle. Government agencies are promoting condor tourism, but interest in condors has had some unforseen harmful consequences. Members of indigenous communities hold condors in high regard, but do not agree on how condors should be treated, especially regarding rituals of sacrifice. Condors have also been affected by global warming and political strife. Based on ethno-ornithological research conducted in southern Peru, this presentation brings together the perspectives of scholars and local communities in an interdisciplinary approach that honors the role of indigenous communities in understanding these issues.