Juan Vargas

Field Program Manager

Juan Vargas serves San Diego Zoo Global in a consultant capacity as a Field Program Manager in Recovery Ecology. Since 2002, he has been involved with the California condor reintroduction program in Baja California, Mexico, where he supervises field staff and oversees the training and husbandry of condors pre-release. He also monitors birds after release, including radiotelemetry and re-trapping when needed, as well as designing new strategies for capturing and tagging birds, locating and accessing nests, and conducting health exams.

Previously, Juan collaborated with the University of California, Santa Cruz, in an effort to translocated golden eagles from the Channel Islands to the mainland. He also served as Field Research Director for Fundación ARA, AC in Monterrey, Mexico for five years. His work involved the rehabilitation, breeding, and management of 98 Latin American bird species. Juan has experience with a wide variety of birds, including raptors, cracids, psittacines, passerines, and rhamphastids. In addition, he has worked with venomous snakes and vampire bats.

Juan studied Biology at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, with additional field training in ornithology, herpetology, and entomology in Central America. In 2010, he was honored with Mexico’s Conservación de la Naturaleza award. In 2014, he was given binational recognition from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Mexico’s Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales for his long term commitment and dedication to the recovery and conservation of the California condor in Mexico. Juan is passionate about the conservation of endangered species and wilderness all over the world.

SCIENCE AT WORK