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.

Fri

11

Oct

2019

Tackling the threat of electrocution in the Eastern Rhodopes to protect vultures

(c) Atanas Delchev/BSPB
(c) Atanas Delchev/BSPB
Read More

Mon

07

Oct

2019

An overview of the European Vulture Conference

Read More

Wed

02

Oct

2019

Day 2 of the European Vulture Conference

Read More

Tue

01

Oct

2019

Day 1 of the European Vulture Conference

Read More

Wed

25

Sep

2019

Rhodopean Cinereous Vulture pair undertakes aerial adventures

Read More

Tue

24

Sep

2019

The European Vulture Conference is a week away - what to expect

Read More

Thu

19

Sep

2019

The Cinereous Vulture population in Mallorca has multiplied by ten in nearly 40 years

Cinereous Vulture nest in Mallorca (c) Jordi Muntaner
Cinereous Vulture nest in Mallorca (c) Jordi Muntaner
Read More

Thu

12

Sep

2019

Dr François Sarrazin will give a keynote presentation on the restoration and conservation of scavenger populations during the European Vulture Conference

Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Sat

07

Sep

2019

Get to know Europe's vultures - key facts and conservation

Europe's vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Europe's vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Thu

29

Aug

2019

The Cinereous Vulture chicks released in Bulgaria have successfully fledged!

Ultron and Barnabie (c) Vultures Back to LIFE
Ultron and Barnabie (c) Vultures Back to LIFE
Read More

Tue

27

Aug

2019

Together we can save vultures

Read More

Thu

22

Aug

2019

Portuguese Action Plan for the Conservation of Necrophagous Birds finally published in Diário da República

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Svetoslav Spasov
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Svetoslav Spasov
Read More

Wed

21

Aug

2019

Exchanging knowledge for breeding Cinereous Vultures

Read More

Sat

17

Aug

2019

New feeding station in Serbia aims to improve food opportunities for vultures

Building the feeding station in Pešter (c) Milorad Babic
Building the feeding station in Pešter (c) Milorad Babic
Read More

Fri

09

Aug

2019

Two Cinereous Vultures are the new inhabitants of the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria

Read More

Thu

01

Aug

2019

Announcing the Scientific Programme of the European Vulture Conference

Read More

Tue

30

Jul

2019

Releasing Cinereous vultures on Tuesday 6 August – join us in Kotel, Bulgaria

Read More

Tue

23

Jul

2019

Five Griffon Vultures tagged in Western Iberia to reveal feeding behaviour

Griffon Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Sat

20

Jul

2019

4 Vultures - Photography Contest

Cinereous Vultures and Griffon Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vultures and Griffon Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Thu

18

Jul

2019

All together for Vultures: Immediate action prevents possible wind turbine collision for Cinereous Vulture Carrascalinho in Spain

 Cinereous Vulture Carrascalinho (c) João Tomás
Cinereous Vulture Carrascalinho (c) João Tomás
Read More

Tue

16

Jul

2019

Restoring natural feeding scenarios for Cinereous Vultures in Spain

Cinereous Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Sat

13

Jul

2019

Following the movements of yet another Portuguese Cinereous Vulture

The recently tagged Cinereous Vulture (c) LPN
The recently tagged Cinereous Vulture (c) LPN
Read More

Tue

09

Jul

2019

LIFE RE-Vultures can now track the movements of two more juvenile Griffon Vultures

Juvenile Griffon Vultures often reach Syria, Israel Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. (c) AtanasDelchev/BSPB
Juvenile Griffon Vultures often reach Syria, Israel Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. (c) AtanasDelchev/BSPB
Read More

Sat

06

Jul

2019

Where did the reintroduced Bulgarian Cinereous Vultures travel next?

Cinereous Vulture with Griffon Vultures (c) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Cinereous Vulture with Griffon Vultures (c) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Read More

Mon

24

Jun

2019

The mystery of the Cinereous Vulture spotted in Latvia

Read More

Wed

19

Jun

2019

Latest victims of irresponsible human activities

The dead Cinereous vulture (c) Colectivo Azálvaro
The dead Cinereous vulture (c) Colectivo Azálvaro
Read More

Wed

12

Jun

2019

Closer to reintroducing Cinereous Vulture population in Bulgaria as the second group arrives

The Cinereous Vultures at their new home at the Green Balkans Rescue Centre
The Cinereous Vultures at their new home at the Green Balkans Rescue Centre
Read More

Fri

07

Jun

2019

Reintroducing Cinereous Vultures to Bulgaria - the second transportation from Spain

One of the ten Cinereous Vultures (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
One of the ten Cinereous Vultures (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Read More

Wed

05

Jun

2019

How do vultures contribute to our environment?

Griffon and Egyptian Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon and Egyptian Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Tue

21

May

2019

Europe’s largest vulture spotted on an epic journey to northern Europe all the way from Spain

Cinereous Vulture Brínzola spotted in Belgium (c) Wouter Van Gasse
Cinereous Vulture Brínzola spotted in Belgium (c) Wouter Van Gasse
Read More

Mon

13

May

2019

The continued adventures of the reintroduced Bulgarian Cinereous Vultures

A camera trap photo of the curious reintroduced Cinereous Vultures of Bulgaria who take apart camera traps
A camera trap photo of the curious reintroduced Cinereous Vultures of Bulgaria who take apart camera traps
Read More

Wed

01

May

2019

Cinereous Vultures on the move across the Balkan Peninsula

Riga, the Cinereous Vulture photographed in Albania (c) Brano Rudić
Riga, the Cinereous Vulture photographed in Albania (c) Brano Rudić
Read More

Mon

22

Apr

2019

GPS transmitter helps locate and rescue injured Cinereous Vulture in Portugal

Cinereous Vulture in the transport box for the CERAS after its capture in the Natural Park of the Serra de São Mamede (c) O. Urbano
Cinereous Vulture in the transport box for the CERAS after its capture in the Natural Park of the Serra de São Mamede (c) O. Urbano
Read More

Wed

17

Apr

2019

Farming for vultures: the results from the LIFE+ Feeding Scavengers project

Read More

Thu

28

Mar

2019

Four more Cinereous Vultures released into the wild in historic reintroduction project in Bulgaria

One of the Cinereous Vultures released in the Balkan Mountains (C) Green Balkans
One of the Cinereous Vultures released in the Balkan Mountains (C) Green Balkans
Read More

Thu

21

Mar

2019

Second pair of Cinereous Vultures begins nesting in artificial platform in the Douro Canyon

Artifical nest constructed for Cinereous Vultures (c) José Jambas/Oriolus
Artifical nest constructed for Cinereous Vultures (c) José Jambas/Oriolus
Read More

Mon

04

Mar

2019

Carrying out a post-mortem is essential in understanding vulture mortality

Veterinarian Florence Buronfosse-Roque carrying out a post-mortem on a Cinereous Vulture
Veterinarian Florence Buronfosse-Roque carrying out a post-mortem on a Cinereous Vulture
Read More

Wed

27

Feb

2019

Cinereous Vulture Ostrava found dead in Greece

Cinereous Vulture Ostrava (c) Hristo Peshev
Cinereous Vulture Ostrava (c) Hristo Peshev
Read More

Mon

18

Feb

2019

Record number of young Cinereous Vultures fledge the nest in Andalusia in 2018 for a second year

Read More

Thu

14

Feb

2019

Dating the Cinereous Vulture way - helping captive birds find love

A pair of Cinereous Vultures in Belgium's Planckendael Zoo
A pair of Cinereous Vultures in Belgium's Planckendael Zoo
Read More

Thu

24

Jan

2019

Cinereous Vulture fitted with a GPS transmitter released back into the wild in Portugal as part of LIFE Rupis project

Read More

Mon

21

Jan

2019

Shocking killing of a rare Cinereous Vulture shot dead in Lebanon

Read More

Thu

17

Jan

2019

How did a GPS transmitter from a Cinereous Vulture end up on the beach in St-Tropez?

The GPS transmitter attached to one of the Cinereous Vultures released at Parcs Naturel Regional Baronnies provençales
The GPS transmitter attached to one of the Cinereous Vultures released at Parcs Naturel Regional Baronnies provençales
Read More

Fri

04

Jan

2019

Abricot, the Great Wanderer, spotted on camera after an absence of two year

Read More

Fri

28

Dec

2018

Cinereous Vulture Murtigão photographed in southern Portugal

Read More

Wed

05

Dec

2018

Bulgaria's cinereous vulture Ostrava heads off on winter migration

Ostrava in flight (C) FWFF
Ostrava in flight (C) FWFF
Read More

Wed

28

Nov

2018

Five more cinereous vultures reintroduced in the southern Alps in France

Cinereous vulture Léa at the relase site in Gorge du Verdon © Dominique Jacquemin
Cinereous vulture Léa at the relase site in Gorge du Verdon © Dominique Jacquemin
Read More

Tue

27

Nov

2018

The 24th Meeting of the French Vulture Network

Read More

Thu

22

Nov

2018

New research review reveals the extent of lead contamination in wild vultures.

Read More

Mon

19

Nov

2018

New artificial nests built in Eastern Rhodope mountains for cinereous vultures

(C)VERA ALEXEYEVA
(C)VERA ALEXEYEVA
Read More

Tue

13

Nov

2018

Multiple raptors, including vultures, continue to be killed by electrocution

(c) RSCN
(c) RSCN
Read More

Wed

07

Nov

2018

Young cinereous vulture tagged and released back into the wild in the French pre-Pyrenees

Read More

Tue

06

Nov

2018

Working to save vultures in the Balearics

Read More

Wed

24

Oct

2018

Island hopping and heading east - the latest travels of Bulgaria's cinereous vultures - updates

Ostrava in the Kotel Mountains (C) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Ostrava in the Kotel Mountains (C) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Read More

Tue

16

Oct

2018

16 threatened birds- including the bearded and cinereous vultures, have much better chances in Europe now

Read More

Mon

15

Oct

2018

Understanding and tackling the electrocution and collision threats to vultures - Andalusia seminar

Young Egyptian vulture perrched on an electricity pylon
Young Egyptian vulture perrched on an electricity pylon
Read More

Thu

11

Oct

2018

Riga - one of the 3 cinereous vultures reintroduced in Bulgaria a few weeks ago, made it to Western Greece after a flight across the Balkans

Read More

Fri

28

Sep

2018

POISON KILLS! A new LPO publication helping to fight illegal wildlife poisoning in the French Pyrenees

Read More

Mon

17

Sep

2018

Reintroduction of cinereous vultures in Bulgaria – what is happening with the three birds released?

Read More

Tue

11

Sep

2018

Vultures at risk from changes to regulations in Spain’s Asturias region

Read More

Wed

05

Sep

2018

Visitor to feeding station surprises staff at Monte Velino Reserve

Read More

Sat

01

Sep

2018

Why are vultures important?

Bearded vulture
Bearded vulture
Read More

Wed

29

Aug

2018

Vultures Back to LIFE - conserving cinereous vultures in Bulgaria

Read More

Mon

27

Aug

2018

Who are the Vulture Conservation Foundation?

Read More

Sat

25

Aug

2018

One week to go to International Vulture Awareness Day!

Read More

Thu

23

Aug

2018

Cinereous vulture found dead in the Rhodope Mountains

Read More

Mon

20

Aug

2018

New study reveals the impact of illegal poisoning in Greece

Griffon vulture a victim of illegal wildlife poisoning in Greece, May 2018
Griffon vulture a victim of illegal wildlife poisoning in Greece, May 2018
Read More

Sat

18

Aug

2018

Bulgaria's reintroduced cinereous vultures leave the nest

Read More

Thu

16

Aug

2018

Latest edition of the LIFE Re-Vultures newsletter

Read More

Thu

02

Aug

2018

Wandering cinereous vulture in Bulgaria gives hope to the restoration of the species in the country

Cinereous vulture (C) Svetoslav Spasov
Cinereous vulture (C) Svetoslav Spasov
Read More

Wed

01

Aug

2018

One month to go until International Vulture Awareness Day

Read More

Tue

31

Jul

2018

First ever Portuguese cinereous vulture tagged 

Cinereous vulture Murtigão with a newly fitted GPS tag
Cinereous vulture Murtigão with a newly fitted GPS tag
Read More

Fri

27

Jul

2018

Europe's largest vulture returns to Bulgaria

Staff from the Vulture Conservation Foundation and Green Balkans releasing the two young cinereous vultures at the release site
Staff from the Vulture Conservation Foundation and Green Balkans releasing the two young cinereous vultures at the release site
Read More

Sat

21

Jul

2018

Landmark day for cinereous vulture conservation in the Balkans

Read More

Thu

24

May

2018

Landmark day for vulture conservation in Europe

Read More

Wed

09

May

2018

One step closer to bring black vultures back to Bulgaria – 1st black vultures transported from Spain to the Balkans

Read More

Thu

03

May

2018

Helping vultures by reinforcing wild ungulates in Bulgaria – 138 deer have already been translocated to the Eastern Rhodopes as part of the LIFE RE Vultures

Read More

Fri

27

Apr

2018

Update on Vulture Research

Latest vulture science analysed: Movements of Egyptian vultures in the Middle East and East Africa; the potential impacts of land use change on cinereous vulture occurrence in Spain; stakeholder perceptions of Egyptian vultures; a review of the contribution of predators and scavengers to human well-being; and an article on the association between lead toxicity and hunting activity in Botswana

Read More

Mon

16

Apr

2018

On the road in Bulgaria tonight

Read More

Tue

10

Apr

2018

Cinereous vulture recorded on video in The Gambia – a first for the West Africa country

Read More

Sun

01

Apr

2018

Hope and resilience - cinereous vultures resurrect from the ashes in the Douro canyon – Happy Easter!

Read More

Sat

24

Mar

2018

New Balkan Anti-Poisoning Project kick-offs at the 3rd Adriatic Flyway Conference

Read More

Thu

01

Mar

2018

New paper: Antibiotics found in carcasses left in vulture supplementary feeding sites in Portugal

Read More

Sun

25

Feb

2018

Korea peninsula - cinereous vultures know no borders too!

Read More

Tue

20

Feb

2018

Cinereous vulture tagged and released back to the wild in Jordan – in images

Read More

Sat

10

Feb

2018

Cinereous vulture flyway action plan featured in this month´s Quercus magazine

Read More

Fri

02

Feb

2018

First for Jordan – cinereous vulture tagged and released back to the wild – He is now wintering in Saudi

Read More

Wed

31

Jan

2018

New vulture book for children (in German) - Geier Georg auf der Flucht

Read More

Tue

16

Jan

2018

An European vulture in Mauritania - and an African one in Spain

Read More

Sun

14

Jan

2018

Two cinereous vultures found dead, presumably poisoned, in Thrace (Greece)

Read More

Wed

10

Jan

2018

Why do foraging Spanish vultures stop at the border with Portugal? Because of different sanitary policies!

Read More

Wed

27

Dec

2017

Bulgarian partners visit nest platforms for cinereous vultures in Portugal

Read More

Tue

26

Dec

2017

Cinereous Vulture Flyway Action Plan published

Read More

Mon

11

Dec

2017

Black vultures continue to increase in Mallorca – 2017 was again a record breeding year

Read More

Fri

08

Dec

2017

The status of cinereous vultures in Armenia

Read More

Fri

01

Dec

2017

Another VCF milestone – final drafts of the European International Species Actions Plans for the bearded vulture and the cinereous vulture produced

Read More

Sat

25

Nov

2017

Last chance to see the spectacular documentary on our LIFE GYPCONNECT on ARTE

Read More

Sat

30

Sep

2017

Eight more black vultures from Andalusia (Spain) transferred for the reintroduction project in France

Read More

Wed

13

Sep

2017

All together for vultures in Extremadura (Spain)

Read More

Sun

10

Sep

2017

Interesting observation of a black vulture at the Romanian Black Sea coast

Read More

Donate

Support our work and help us protect vultures

Want to keep up to date?

Campaigns