Ventana Wildlife Society

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A organizational summary by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

Ventana Wildlife Society logo


The Ventana Wildlife Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that aims to conserve native wildlife and their habitats through science education and collaboration.


The main office and the field offices for the Ventana Wildlife Society are located in Monterey and on the Big Sur coast, respectively. There is a discovery center at Andrew Molera State Park that serves as an outreach center and a meeting location for condor tours.

This society owns two 80- acre properties designated as wildlife sanctuaries. The Big Sur Condor Sanctuary is surrounded by Ventana Wilderness and served as nesting, roosting, scavenging and soaring habitat for the California Condor. This area was completely burnt during the Dolan Fire in August, 2020 and there are plans to rebuild [1]. The second property is Lake Nacimiento Eagle Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo County. This area supports nesting populations of Eagles and a variety of other wildlife. Both properties are not open to the public but can be visited with permission.


  • 1986- 2000 Recovered a breeding population of Bald Eagles through releasing 70 juveniles over fourteen years in central California [2].
  • 1995- Bald Eagle pair nests at the Lake Naciemiento parcel
  • 1997- Ventana Wildlife Society founded
  • 1997- First release of California Condor at the Big Sur Condor Sanctuary
  • 2006- Lake Nacimiento parcel (80 acres) purchased
  • 2011- Big Sur Condor Sanctuary parcel (80 acres) purchased


This nonprofit offers ecological services throughout Central California including consultation, surveys, and conservation such as:

  • Endangered Species Recovery (Permit TE-026659-14)
  • Conservation and Adaptive Management Planning
  • Sensitive Species Studies and Consultations
  • Wind Energy Assessment Studies for Birds and Bats
  • Ecological Research and Biological Monitoring
  • Environmental Impact Review
  • Outdoor Education for Youth
  • Outdoor Education Curriculum Development
  • Eco-Experiences and Tours

This organization has written over 80 technical reports for clients and collaborators. [3]

Example Work / Projects

  • California Condor Recovery including Release Sites for the California Condor
  • Bald Eagle Nest Monitoring
  • Bird Banding at Toro Creek, Salinas (MAPS Station)
  • Riparian Bird Surveys along the Carmel River
  • Wind Energy Assessment Surveys
  • Grassland Bird Monitoring
  • Natural Science After School Program
  • Natural Science Discovery Camp
  • Non-Lead Ammunition Outreach Program


The current executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society is Kelly Sorenson [4]. This non-profit staffs 10-15 people.

Related links


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This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessary reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.