Gyps fulvus 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae

Scientific Name: Gyps fulvus
Species Authority: (Hablizl, 1783)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Griffon, Eurasian Griffon Vulture
French Vautour fauve
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2013-11-03
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M., Khwaja, N. & Ashpole, J
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over 10 years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in 10 years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2013 Least Concern (LC)
2012 Least Concern (LC)
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia (Armenia); Austria; Azerbaijan; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Egypt; Eritrea; Ethiopia; France; Georgia; Gibraltar; Greece; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Mali; Mauritania; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Nepal; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Portugal; Russian Federation; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Slovenia; Spain; Sudan; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Yemen
Regionally extinct:
Bangladesh; Belarus; Belgium; Denmark; Djibouti; Estonia; Finland; Germany; Hungary; Ireland; Kenya; Latvia; Libya; Malta; Netherlands; Niger; Poland; Slovakia; Switzerland; Togo; United Arab Emirates; Western Sahara
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 10200000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The European population is estimated at 32,400-34,400 pairs, which equates to 64,800-68,800 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Approximately 10% of the global range for this species falls within Europe, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 648,000-688,000 mature individuals. It is placed in the band 500,000-999,999 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is increasing in its European range (BirdLife International 2015) and re-introductions have taken place in France. The central Asian population is suspected to be stable. Populations in North Africa and Turkey are suspected to be in decline owing to persecution, shooting, poisoning and loss of suitable food owing to changing farming practices. However, the overall population trend is suspected to be increasing.
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 500000-999999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour Some birds are migratory, overwintering in Africa, although many others are resident or nomadic (del Hoyo et al. 1994). It relies heavily on soaring flight, and has been shown to fly at altitudes of 10,000 m and higher. Birds hunt alone but congregate at food sources and roosts; they also tend to migrate singly, but concentrations (usually up to 15 individuals) form at sea crossings and strong thermals (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001). Habitat It is a species of expansive open areas in a wide array of environments, from mountains to semi-desert, and is recorded regularly from sea level up to c.3,000 m (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Diet It feeds almost exclusively on carrion, mainly that of large mammals (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Breeding site The nest is usually built on a rocky outcrop, with sheltered ledges or small caves preferred (del Hoyo et al. 1994). Management information Effective protection in areas with a plentiful supply of food (which often includes the carrion of domestic animals), has been shown to catalyse impressive population recoveries, and reintroduction has been successful in parts of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1994).
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 17.8
Movement patterns: Full Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It declined markedly throughout the 19th–20th centuries in much of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, mainly due to direct persecution and "bycatch" from the poisoned carcasses set for livestock predators (Snow and Perrins 1998, Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Orta et al. 2015). In some areas a reduction in available food supplies, arising from changes in livestock management practices, also had an impact (Ferguson-Lees and Christie 2001, Orta et al. 2015). It is very highly vulnerable to the effects of potential wind energy development (Strix 2012) and electrocution has been identified as a threat (Global Raptors Information Network 2015). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for veterinary purposes pose a threat to this species. One case of suspected poisoning caused by flunixin, an NSAID, was recorded in this species in 2012 in Spain (Zorrilla et al. 2015). Diclofenac, a similar NSAID, has caused severe declines in Gyps vulture species across Asia.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2015. Gyps fulvus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T22695219A80159120. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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