The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) belongs to the family Accipitridae. These griffon vulture species are distributed in Europe, central Asia, Africa and Indian Subcontinent.
Taxonomy of Griffon vulture
- Scientific Name: Gyps fulvus
- Common Name: Griffon vulture
- French: Vautour fauve; German: Gänsegeier; Spanish: Buitre leonado;
- Other names: Vultur fulvus Hablizl, 1783; Eurasian griffon;
- Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Species author: (Hablizl, 1783)
|Indian birds - Image of Griffon vulture - Gyps fulvus|
DescriptionThe griffon vulture is a large bird, measuring 95 to 110 cm in length and weighing 6,000 to 11,000 grams. The wingspan is 240 to 280 cm. Its head and neck are white. The wings are broad and the tail is short. The buff body and wing coverts contrast with the dark flight feathers. They are noisy while feeding, making various grunting and hissing sounds and calls.
HabitatThe griffon vultures are adapted to wide range of habitats including open country, mountains, plateaux, steppe and semi deserts.
Feeding habitsThese vulture species feed on carcasses, typically feeding on muscles and viscera of medium sized and large mammals. They soar high on the thermals to locate dead animals.
BreedingThese vulture species breed during December and March. They nest on rocky outcrop, with sheltered ledges or small caves and cliffs. The clutch is found to have one egg. Both the parents take part in rearing the chick.
DistributionThe griffon vulture subspecies G. f. fulvus is distributed in northwest Africa, Europe, Mediterranean region, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Iran and Kazakhstan. The subspecies G. f. fulvescens is distributed in Afghanistan, Pakistan and north and northeast India.
Movement PatternsThese vulture species are mostly sedentary. The juveniles and immature vultures may migrate far and make long-distance movements.
Status and conservationThe griffon vulture global range is large and the population is least vulnerable. Threats to conservation of these species include habitat degradation, human activities, wind farms, reduced food availability and a shortage of suitable nesting sites.
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these vulture species and has listed them as "Least Concern".
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sitting_griffon_vulture.jpg
Image Author: Вых Пыхманн | Image License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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