CALIFORNIA -- They were once heralded as a great success story, but now the California Condor is in danger again.
Populations around the state have been dwindling, particularly around Big Sur. Now, scientists think they've figured out why. The long-banned pesticide DDT is finding its way into the food chain.
Condors feed on dead seals, and seals often have high levels of DDT from swimming in the ocean. Baby condors in Northern California have a survival rate of just 20 percent to 40 percent, compared with Southern California, where they have about a 75 percent chance of survival.
Condors were reintroduced into the wild in 1997 and for a time, they were thriving. Now, scientists hope that aging DDT still lingering in the ocean will naturally fade away.