Audubon was making an impact long before the establishment of Audubon California in 1996. Check out the slideshow below for a quick overview (click on the arrows to advance the slides):
One of these conservationists was George Bird Grinnell, who as a young man had a fascination with the work of John James Audubon. As the editor of Forest and Stream Magazine, he in 1886 called for the formation of an Audubon Society “for the protection of wild birds and their eggs.”
Grinnell’s original Audubon Society was short-lived however, and the trade in bird feathers continued to grow. But he had been on to something. Starting in Massachusetts in 1896, other Audubon groups began to spring up around the country, 1898, the first chapter in California was founded.
Even before the National Audubon Society formed in 1905, the movement enlisted noted photographer/naturalist William Finley to promote bird conservation out West. Finley worked with Theodore Roosevelt to create the first wildlife refuge in the Lower Klamath on the California/Oregon border.
California quickly became a major stronghold for the National Audubon Society, prompting it to build its second nature center there in 1939, the Audubon Center of Southern California. The center is now run by the County of Los Angeles, and is called the Whittier Narrows Nature Center.
As the California Condor dropped further toward extinction in the 1970s, Audubon pushed the federal government to take action. Audubon was co-leader of the team that caught the last remaining condors for captive breeding, and continues to work on behalf of the bird today.
Audubon California was established in 1996 as a field program of the National Audubon Society, overseeing the organization’s properties and leading conservation efforts. With a wide array of ambitious programs, Audubon California is a force for conservation along the entire Pacific Flyway.