Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus)

Common name in other languages:

Dutch: Monniksgier; German: Mönchsgeier; French: Vautour Moine; Spanish: Buitre Negro; Portuguese: Abutre Preto; Swedish: Gragam

Size: 98-110 cm

Weight: 7,1-12,5 kg

Wingspan: 250-295 cm

Life expectancy: up to 40 years in captivity

 

Features: The cinereous vulture is one of the heaviest and largest raptors in the world. It is a dark brown and broad-winged species with a slightly wedge-shaped tail. The bald head and neck are a bluish gray, with a fluffy collar which is lighter in older birds. In many countries, this bird is called ‘monk vulture’, because of it’s upright standing neck feathers that resemble the hood of a monk.

 

Distribution: In the last two hundred years, the cinereous vulture greatly decreased in numbers in most distribution areas, especially by poisoning, habitat destruction and reduction of food supply. In many European countries (Portugal, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and Romania), the species became extinct. Thanks to strong efforts in many different projects (e.g. the protection of breeding sites, taking actions against poisoning, restoration programs), the numbers are now slowly increasing, especially in Spain, where the population is now of more than 2,000 pairs. Furthermore, in France a successful reintroduction project has resulted in the re-establishment of the species (25+ pairs), Greece (around 28 breeding pairs in the only remianing colony in the Balkans). The total European breeding population (including Turkey and Russia) is approximately 1800 pairs.

 

Behaviour: The cinereous vulture nests in trees and sometimes on cliffs. Like most other vultures, cinereous vultures are monogamous. Couples build huge nests that are reused each year. Eggs hatch in 50-55 days. Cinereous vultures have a specialized type of hemoglobin in their blood, allowing them to effectively absorb oxygen even at great heights. On thermal winds they ‘float’ to these great heights in search of carcasses.

Tue

18

Jul

2017

Black vulture breeds successfully for the third year in a row in Alentejo (Portugal)

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Sun

16

Jul

2017

Newsletter of the LIFE Re Vultures project is out!

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Wed

12

Jul

2017

News from the LIFE Re vultures – more griffon vultures from the Rodopes-Dadia area (Bulgaria/Greece) tracked

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Mon

03

Jul

2017

The adventures of a cinereous vulture in Jordan

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Mon

26

Jun

2017

Black vulture shows up in the eastern Alps

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Sat

24

Jun

2017

Der Falke special edition on vultures now available to order

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Thu

22

Jun

2017

Barcelona Zoo sent 3 captive-bred griffons for the vulture reintroduction project in Bulgaria

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Mon

01

May

2017

Black vulture Bernardus is back in France!

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Tue

18

Apr

2017

14 pairs of black vulture – in Boumort (Spanish Pyrenees) – 8 are still breeding

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Mon

17

Apr

2017

2016 Report on the black vulture captive breeding network

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Thu

06

Apr

2017

Black vulture Bernardus is on the move again!

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Tue

04

Apr

2017

A poacher kills the last black vulture in Alinyà, Spain

Photos of Trasgu before (up) and after (down) the incident © Boumort-Alinyà Working Team
Photos of Trasgu before (up) and after (down) the incident © Boumort-Alinyà Working Team
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Sun

19

Mar

2017

LIFE RE-Vultures - news from the Rhodopes at the project annual meeting

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Thu

02

Mar

2017

Frustration – and then hope – with the only black vulture pair in Douro International

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Wed

01

Mar

2017

Bernardus has overwintered in Toledo (Spain). Where will she go in Spring?

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Sat

25

Feb

2017

Three black vultures to be released tomorrow in the Gorges du Verdon (France)

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Wed

18

Jan

2017

News from LIFE RUPIS: Supplementary feeding points ready to receive the Egyptian vultures coming from Africa. And they are helping the local black vultures too!

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Fri

06

Jan

2017

News from the LIFE Re vultures – griffon and black vultures from the Rodopes-Dadia area (Bulgaria/Greece) tracked

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Wed

14

Dec

2016

First bearded vulture in Israel for more than 10 years – and a bounty of black vultures too!

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Tue

13

Dec

2016

The Junta de Andalusia handed over to the VCF 7 Black Vultures for the reintroduction project in France

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Fri

04

Nov

2016

Vultures galore at the European Vulture Multi-species Action Plan Workshop held in Extremadura – and some great conclusions too!

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Tue

01

Nov

2016

Bernardus goes south again

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Fri

21

Oct

2016

Key vulture workshop to be held next week in Monfrague (Spain) - to develop the European Vulture Multi-species Action Plan

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Sun

12

Jun

2016

Abricot the great voyager

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Thu

28

Apr

2016

Bernardus the black vulture decided to visit our… Egyptian vulture project site in Portugal-Spain!

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Wed

27

Apr

2016

Breeding black vultures in captivity for conservation - 2015 report

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Sun

24

Apr

2016

Captive-bred black vulture "Bernardus" released in Verdon is now in Portugal

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Sat

23

Apr

2016

Working high above the Rhine towards international species action plans

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Thu

21

Apr

2016

The VCF visited Bulgaria

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Fri

01

Apr

2016

The black vulture in France in 2015 – summary

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Wed

30

Mar

2016

Drones and vultures – a curse or a blessing?

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Tue

23

Feb

2016

New paper on a case study on black vultures and windfarms: High mortality and a novel tool for EIAs and SEAs on new plans

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Mon

22

Feb

2016

New project for the conservation of black and griffon vultures in the Rhodope mountains (Bulgaria-Greece) launched

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Mon

08

Feb

2016

Black vultures arrived well and safe in France

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Fri

05

Feb

2016

Seven more black vultures on the way to France

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Mon

01

Feb

2016

The Junta de Andalusia handed over today 3 Eurasian Black Vultures to the VCF for the reintroduction projects and the captivity-breeding programme

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Sun

31

Jan

2016

Two black vultures in China´s biggest city – and some reflections on China´s vultures

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Sun

24

Jan

2016

Vultures Back to LIFE – the dream goes on. New LIFE project for the reintroduction of the black vulture to Bulgaria starts!

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Sun

10

Jan

2016

Restoring vulture populations in the Balkans – from griffon vultures to black vultures…

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Wed

30

Dec

2015

The highlights of the VCF year

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Tue

29

Dec

2015

Bernardus the black vulture is in Doñana National Parc

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Sat

19

Dec

2015

The 16 species of Old World Vultures in a sensible evolutionary order - drawing by Katja Wolfram

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Mon

14

Dec

2015

More Spanish black vultures will soon be on the way to France

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Sat

12

Dec

2015

Interesting observations of black vultures in the Balkans

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Sat

28

Nov

2015

Black vulture Bernardus goes south in Spain

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Mon

16

Nov

2015

Captive-bred black vulture "Bernardus"  released in Verdon is now in Spain

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Sun

08

Nov

2015

Black vulture population continues to increase in Andalucía – 360 pairs in 2015

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Thu

05

Nov

2015

Iran bans veterinary diclofenac – in the meanwhile, the EU drags its feet and continues to threaten Europe’s vultures – sign the petition!

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Wed

04

Nov

2015

More black and griffon vultures die near the Avila waste treatment centre (Spain)

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Sat

31

Oct

2015

Black (cinereous) vulture seen in Macedonia – first observation in the last 10 years

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Mon

26

Oct

2015

Genetics explain why vultures are such good scavengers: new paper

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Wed

23

Sep

2015

The VCF was present in the meeting on Mediterranean Raptors held recently in Italy

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Sat

05

Sep

2015

Today it is the International Vulture Awareness Day, and VCF has a message - Ban killer drug diclofenac or Europe’s vultures may face extinction!

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Thu

03

Sep

2015

Spreading the word – vultures are beautiful, necessary and endangered! International Vulture Awareness Day, 5th September

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Wed

02

Sep

2015

Help spread awareness on vultures – share your vulture pictures with National Geographic!

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Sun

16

Aug

2015

New paper discusses supplementary feeding programs for European vultures, and makes recommendations for the management of vulture feeding sites

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Wed

12

Aug

2015

At least six black vultures found dead near waste treatment plant in central Spain

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Fri

17

Jul

2015

First black vulture chick hatched in the wild in southern Portugal for more than 40 years ringed and tagged

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