Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)

Common name in other languages:

Dutch Vale Grier; German Gansegeier; French Vautour Fauve; Spanish Buitre Leonado; Portuguese Grifo; Swedish Gasgam

Size: 95-110 cm

Weight: 6-11 kg

Wingspan: 240-280 cm

Life expectancy: up to 37 years in captivity

 

Features: The Griffon vulture is sand-coloured to dark brown, with a white head, neck and ruff. The primary- and tail feathers are dark brown to black. Young birds have a brown ruff and are darker in colour. The wings are long and wide and are resemble fingers.

 

Distribution: Following a decline in the 20th century by poisoning, hunting and decreasing of food supplies, in recent year the species has increased dramatically in some areas, particularly in Spain, the French Pyrenees and Portugal. In Europe, the breeding population is between 19.000 and 21.000 pairs, with around 17.500 pairs in Spain and approximately 600 in France.

 

Behaviour: The Griffon vulture feeds mainly on the softer parts of carcasses, such as the muscles and viscera. Because of it’s long neck, this species can reach far into the carcass without snagging. Griffon vultures are very social in comparison to other vulture species. They forage in groups and breed in colonies on steep cliffs.

 

VCF position paper on incidents between Griffon Vultures and live livestock
VCF-Position paper on incidents between
Adobe Acrobat Document 202.0 KB

Sat

17

Apr

2021

Award-winning author released her new children's adventure book with a vulture conservation theme

Judy Brulo and her new book
Judy Brulo and her new book
Read More

Fri

16

Apr

2021

Nature heroes: Dog and human team up to search and remove poison from Bulgaria's countryside

Nikolay and Bars © Димитър Градинаров
Nikolay and Bars © Димитър Градинаров
Read More

Mon

29

Mar

2021

Second proven case of fatal lead poisoning for a Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria

Read More

Tue

23

Mar

2021

Cinereous Vultures are demonstrating breeding behaviour in Bulgaria for the first time since their extinction nearly 30 years ago

Balkan and VCF Know-How — the first formed Cinereous Vulture pair in Bulgaria © Green Balkans
Balkan and VCF Know-How — the first formed Cinereous Vulture pair in Bulgaria © Green Balkans
Read More

Tue

16

Mar

2021

Research review: New study reveals the importance of feeding sites and carcasses in the wider landscape for Griffon Vultures in Bulgaria and Greece.

Griffon Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes © Bogdan Boev/ Rewilding Europe
Griffon Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes © Bogdan Boev/ Rewilding Europe
Read More

Mon

08

Mar

2021

Griffon Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes in Bulgaria reached more than 100 pairs

 Griffon Vulture in flight/ illustrative © Bogdan Boev/ Rewilding Europe
Griffon Vulture in flight/ illustrative © Bogdan Boev/ Rewilding Europe
Read More

Tue

02

Mar

2021

Portuguese Griffon Vulture returned to nature after surviving illegal shooting and lead poisoning!

Read More

Wed

24

Feb

2021

The Griffon Vulture returns as a breeding species in Morocco after 40 years of absence!

Griffon Vulture in flight/illustrative  © Nello Petito
Griffon Vulture in flight/illustrative © Nello Petito
Read More

Tue

23

Feb

2021

A peek into the early days of a newly-hatched Griffon Vulture chick in Bulgaria

© Green Balkans
© Green Balkans
Read More

Fri

19

Feb

2021

Dutch zoo Dierenrijk donates Griffon Vulture to the reintroduction project in Bulgaria!

Read More

Tue

16

Feb

2021

The breeding season of reintroduced Griffon Vultures in Bulgaria has already begun with the first incubating pairs observed

Griffons and a Cinereous Vulture recently photographed at Vrachanski Balkan © Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Griffons and a Cinereous Vulture recently photographed at Vrachanski Balkan © Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Read More

Mon

15

Feb

2021

Griffon Vulture population in Cyprus remains stable according to latest census

Griffon Vulture photographed during the census © Eleni Karatzia/ Vulture Conservation Foundation
Griffon Vulture photographed during the census © Eleni Karatzia/ Vulture Conservation Foundation
Read More

Fri

12

Feb

2021

Three Griffon Vultures released in Messolonghi symbolic of 1821 Greek liberation

Read More

Sat

06

Feb

2021

LIFE with Vultures Cyprus objectives for 2021: Tackling vulture threats, improving food availability and restocking threatened population

Griffon Vulture Kostis in the aviary before its release © Eleni Karatzia/ Vulture Conservation Foundation
Griffon Vulture Kostis in the aviary before its release © Eleni Karatzia/ Vulture Conservation Foundation
Read More

Fri

05

Feb

2021

First Griffon Vulture equipped with GPS tag as part of an innovative project to track illegal wildlife poisoning across seven Balkan countries

Releasing the tagged Griffon Vulture EXTREME back to the wild © FWFF
Releasing the tagged Griffon Vulture EXTREME back to the wild © FWFF
Read More

Sat

30

Jan

2021

Progress review of LIFE with Vultures Cyprus

© Silvio A. Rusmigo
© Silvio A. Rusmigo
Read More

Thu

28

Jan

2021

At least 34 Critically Endangered vultures recently killed from suspected mass poisoning in India

Read More

Tue

26

Jan

2021

Bruma — another Cinereous Vulture rescued, tagged and released in Portugal

Release of Bruma © Rias
Release of Bruma © Rias
Read More

Wed

13

Jan

2021

Portuguese Griffon Vulture was illegally shot, suffered severe lead poisoning and still survived thanks to rehabilitation efforts!

Read More

Tue

12

Jan

2021

A record-high number of Griffon Vultures observed overwintering in the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria

Griffon Vultures in the Balkan Mountains (c) FWFF
Griffon Vultures in the Balkan Mountains (c) FWFF
Read More

Sat

09

Jan

2021

Saving Griffon Vultures in Bulgaria: Our partners rescue a wild bird and welcome the first egg of their captive breeding pair over the holidays

Read More

Fri

08

Jan

2021

On a collision course: 16 Griffon Vultures killed by wind turbines in Aragon, Spain

Some of the Griffon Vultures that died from wind turbine collision in Aragon (c) ANSAR
Some of the Griffon Vultures that died from wind turbine collision in Aragon (c) ANSAR
Read More

Thu

31

Dec

2020

2021 — Together let's work towards a brighter future for the world and vultures

Read More

Wed

30

Dec

2020

WATCH: The story of a young Cypriot Griffon Vulture named Kostis

Griffon Vulture Kostis in the aviary © Silvio A. Rusmigo
Griffon Vulture Kostis in the aviary © Silvio A. Rusmigo
Read More

Mon

28

Dec

2020

Overview of Griffon Vulture conservation in 2020

Griffon Vultures in flight (c) Nello Petito
Griffon Vultures in flight (c) Nello Petito
Read More

Fri

25

Dec

2020

Happy Holidays from the Vulture Conservation Foundation

https://www.4vultures.org/happy-holidays-from-the-vcf-2020/
https://www.4vultures.org/happy-holidays-from-the-vcf-2020/
Read More

Fri

11

Dec

2020

Live Meeting: Let's talk vultures!

Read More

Thu

10

Dec

2020

European vulture comeback boosted by new agreement

Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Read More

Wed

09

Dec

2020

Shot Griffon Vulture from Crete operated upon for the chance to fly in the wild again

Read More

Tue

08

Dec

2020

Research review: Study demonstrates the high risk of lead poisoning in birds of prey, especially Griffon Vultures, in Spain

 (Descalzo et al., 2020)
(Descalzo et al., 2020)
Read More

Mon

07

Dec

2020

Highest-ever number of roosting Griffon Vultures counted in the Rhodope Mountains

Griffon Vulture in flight in the Rhodope Mountains/ Bogdan Boev/Rewilding Europe
Griffon Vulture in flight in the Rhodope Mountains/ Bogdan Boev/Rewilding Europe
Read More

Sat

05

Dec

2020

2020 Annual Griffon Vulture Census in Sardinia shows a gradual increase of individuals

Griffon Vultures in Sardinia (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Griffon Vultures in Sardinia (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Read More

Thu

03

Dec

2020

Two Griffon Vultures left Dresden zoo for a new island life in Sardinia

Griffon Vulture in Dresden Zoo © Ilya Trofimenko
Griffon Vulture in Dresden Zoo © Ilya Trofimenko
Read More

Wed

02

Dec

2020

A successful Kick-off Meeting of the newly launched LIFE project BalkanDetox LIFE

Read More

Fri

27

Nov

2020

Arrival of three Griffon Vultures to the most important Bearded Vulture Captive Breeding Centre to help monitor the West Nile Virus threat

One of the Griffon Vultures that arrived at Guadalentín (left) and a Bearded Vulture resident of the Centre (c) Junta de Andalucía
One of the Griffon Vultures that arrived at Guadalentín (left) and a Bearded Vulture resident of the Centre (c) Junta de Andalucía
Read More

Thu

26

Nov

2020

From the Balkans to the Middle East: The vast travels of a wandering Griffon Vulture

Read More

Tue

24

Nov

2020

More fallow deer relocated in the Eastern Rhodopes to support vulture conservation and broader rewilding goals

(c) Bogdan Boev
(c) Bogdan Boev
Read More

Fri

20

Nov

2020

Kick-off meeting of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

Read More

Wed

18

Nov

2020

Research Review: Risk of exposure to diclofenac and other NSAIDs for vultures in Iberia and update on the situation in South Asia

Read More

Thu

12

Nov

2020

New study estimates the extinction risk for Cyprus Griffon Vultures and identifies priority actions for their conservation

Griffon Vulture © Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vulture © Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Sun

08

Nov

2020

Illegal use of poison baits in the Cypriot countryside killed one-third of the Griffon Vulture population in recent years

Poisoned Griffon Vulture in Cyprus (c) Game and Fauna Service
Poisoned Griffon Vulture in Cyprus (c) Game and Fauna Service
Read More

Sat

07

Nov

2020

 IUCN Vulture Specialist Group's Guide for attaching harness tracking devices to vultures and condors 

Southern African Bearded Vulture with tag in flight (c) Shane Elliott
Southern African Bearded Vulture with tag in flight (c) Shane Elliott
Read More

Wed

04

Nov

2020

Celebrating the ten-year anniversary of the first Griffon Vulture releases in the Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria, to reintroduce the species

Read More

Tue

03

Nov

2020

Portuguese Cinereous Vulture rescued, rehabilitated, tagged and released in the Douro

The released Cinereous and Griffon Vulture (c) ICNF
The released Cinereous and Griffon Vulture (c) ICNF
Read More

Sun

01

Nov

2020

Increase in the number of Griffon Vultures in the Alps with a record number of individuals observed

Read More

Thu

29

Oct

2020

BalkanDetox LIFE: New project combats illegal wildlife poisoning across Balkan countries

Poisoned Cinereous and Egyptian Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Poisoned Cinereous and Egyptian Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Read More

Mon

26

Oct

2020

Latest newsletter of the IUCN's Vulture Specialist Group (October 2020)

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

Sat

24

Oct

2020

It is impossible to prove that an animal was poisoned in Bosnia and Herzegovina as there is no toxicological analysis

Presumably poisoned Griffon Vulture in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Presumably poisoned Griffon Vulture in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Read More

Tue

20

Oct

2020

Vulture Conservation Foundation's position on the proposal to legalize poison bait use in Bulgaria's nature

Poisoned Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Poisoned Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Read More

Mon

19

Oct

2020

Book: A Vulture Landscape — Twelve Months in Extremadura

Read More

Thu

08

Oct

2020

First study on the conservation status of vultures and raptors in Morocco reveals mortality hotspots

Griffon and Egyptian Vulture/illustrative (c) Atanas Delchev
Griffon and Egyptian Vulture/illustrative (c) Atanas Delchev
Read More

Thu

01

Oct

2020

​The Ambassador of Spain in Bulgaria visited the Green Balkans as part of the Vultures Back to LIFE project

Read More

Wed

30

Sep

2020

Griffon Vulture in Cyprus crashes with a car — the bird's fate remains a mystery

Feathers retrieved from the scene (c) GFS
Feathers retrieved from the scene (c) GFS
Read More

Sat

19

Sep

2020

Upcoming Virtual Vulture Trivia Quizzes — for adults and families

Read More

Wed

16

Sep

2020

Vulture watching: Tarifa during bird migration - the European region where you might see six vulture species!

Rüppell's Vulture in Tarifa (c) Javi Elorriaga/ Birding the Strait
Rüppell's Vulture in Tarifa (c) Javi Elorriaga/ Birding the Strait
Read More

Sat

12

Sep

2020

First flights of the first-ever Griffon Vulture fitted with a GPS tag in Mallorca

Tagging the Griffon Vulture (c) Giacomo Tavecchia/ GEDA-IMEDEA (CSIC_UIB)
Tagging the Griffon Vulture (c) Giacomo Tavecchia/ GEDA-IMEDEA (CSIC_UIB)
Read More

Fri

11

Sep

2020

Research review: study finds no clear evidence that vultures spread microorganisms to humans and other species, but more likely reduce disease transmission

Griffon Vultures/illustrative (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vultures/illustrative (c) Pilar Oliva
Read More

Sat

05

Sep

2020

Why we need to protect vultures

Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Read More

Wed

02

Sep

2020

Critical EU vote this Thursday to ban lead shot in wetlands – and that matters to vultures too!

Read More

Sat

29

Aug

2020

Celebrate the International Vulture Awareness Day on 5 September with us!

European vulture species (c) Bruno Berhtemy
European vulture species (c) Bruno Berhtemy
Read More

Fri

28

Aug

2020

Research review: New study demonstrates prevalence of high lead contamination among raptors, especially scavengers, in Europe

Graphical abstract (Monclus et al. 2020)
Graphical abstract (Monclus et al. 2020)
Read More

Tue

25

Aug

2020

Perfectly preserved Griffon Vulture vulture fossil from the Late Pleistocene found in Italy

Virtual section of (a) Section sequence following the antero-posterior direction of the head and (b) section sequence in lateral view of the head. Scale bars 5 cm (c) (Iurino, Bellucci, Schreve and Sardella, 2014)
Virtual section of (a) Section sequence following the antero-posterior direction of the head and (b) section sequence in lateral view of the head. Scale bars 5 cm (c) (Iurino, Bellucci, Schreve and Sardella, 2014)
Read More

Mon

24

Aug

2020

Vulture Scavenger Hunt — an educational activity for children

Read More

Sat

22

Aug

2020

Griffon vulture population in Israel reaches a new high

Griffon Vultures (c) Nello Petitio
Griffon Vultures (c) Nello Petitio
Read More

Fri

21

Aug

2020

Electrocution and collision: Good and bad news for vultures in Castile and León, Spain

Griffon Vulture remains in Burgos (c) GREFA
Griffon Vulture remains in Burgos (c) GREFA
Read More

Thu

20

Aug

2020

One more captive-bred Griffon Vulture ready for life in the Bulgarian wild

The second Griffon Vulture to hatch in the Green Balkans' Centre (c) Green Balkans
The second Griffon Vulture to hatch in the Green Balkans' Centre (c) Green Balkans
Read More

Wed

19

Aug

2020

Griffon Vulture chicks jump from nest in Serbia following helicopter disturbance

Griffon Vulture/illustrative (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vulture/illustrative (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Thu

13

Aug

2020

The Griffon Vulture colony in the Eastern Alps is increasing and occupying new areas

Griffon Vulture flying in the Eastern Alps (c) Fulvio Genero
Griffon Vulture flying in the Eastern Alps (c) Fulvio Genero
Read More

Tue

11

Aug

2020

'Mama drone' helps feed Griffon Vulture chick in Israel to rescue it

Drone (blurred) dropping food to nest (c) Israel Raptor Nest Cam
Drone (blurred) dropping food to nest (c) Israel Raptor Nest Cam
Read More

Fri

07

Aug

2020

Report on wildlife poisoning in Spain between 1992-2017

Poisoned Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Nursery Forestry of Navarra
Poisoned Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Nursery Forestry of Navarra
Read More

Thu

30

Jul

2020

Evolution of the vulture populations in Sardinia

Griffon Vultures in Sardinia (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Griffon Vultures in Sardinia (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Read More

Tue

28

Jul

2020

A morning with Griffons: GPS tagging vultures in the Côa Valley for nature conservation

Eco takes off eagerly and without issue, showing that the handling and the tagging procedure were performed correctly (c) Rewilding Portugal.
Eco takes off eagerly and without issue, showing that the handling and the tagging procedure were performed correctly (c) Rewilding Portugal.
Read More

Wed

22

Jul

2020

Illegal wildlife poisoning case reaches court trial in Croatia for the first time

The dead Golden eagle (c) BIOM
The dead Golden eagle (c) BIOM
Read More

Tue

21

Jul

2020

Second-ever Egyptian Vulture hatched and fledged in Sardinia

Egyptian Vulture chick hatched in Sardinia on 2020 in flight (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Egyptian Vulture chick hatched in Sardinia on 2020 in flight (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Read More

Fri

17

Jul

2020

More electric poles insulated in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria to protect vultures

Insulation of electric poles in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Atanas Delchev/BSPP
Insulation of electric poles in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Atanas Delchev/BSPP
Read More

Tue

14

Jul

2020

Participate in the annual Alpine Griffon Vulture count on 22 August 2020

Griffon Vulture in flight (c) Nello Petitio
Griffon Vulture in flight (c) Nello Petitio
Read More

Fri

10

Jul

2020

Fifteen Griffon Vultures found dead in a well in Morocco

Read More

Thu

09

Jul

2020

French farmers ask for the removal of vulture eggs from nests due to incidents with cattle – but this is not the solution for an inflated problem!

Griffon Vultures (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Griffon Vultures (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Read More

Tue

07

Jul

2020

Ecosystem service provision – what do vultures do for us and the environment?

Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Read More

Sun

05

Jul

2020

First Griffon Vulture equipped with GPS tag in Mallorca to study the natural colonisation of the species

Tagging the Griffon Vulture (c) Giacomo Tavecchia/ GEDA-IMEDEA (CSIC_UIB)
Tagging the Griffon Vulture (c) Giacomo Tavecchia/ GEDA-IMEDEA (CSIC_UIB)
Read More

Sat

04

Jul

2020

A win-win collaboration between livestock breeders and vultures in Kompsatos valley (Greece)

(c) WWF Greece
(c) WWF Greece
Read More

Fri

03

Jul

2020

Vulture Research Update: November 2019 - June 2020

Read More

Sun

28

Jun

2020

How GPS technology is key to securing the future of vultures

Cinereous Vulture with a GPS transmitter © Franziska Lörcher
Cinereous Vulture with a GPS transmitter © Franziska Lörcher
Read More

Tue

23

Jun

2020

Conservation status of Griffon Vultures in Armenia

Griffon Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Read More

Fri

19

Jun

2020

Poaching in northwestern Italy: Griffon Vulture shot and left in critical condition

Griffon Vulture once it arrived at the recovery centre (c) CANC
Griffon Vulture once it arrived at the recovery centre (c) CANC
Read More

Sun

14

Jun

2020

Three active Griffon Vulture nests confirmed in Cyprus

AAJ is a member of one of the breeding pairs in Cyprus © Louis Phipps / VCF
AAJ is a member of one of the breeding pairs in Cyprus © Louis Phipps / VCF
Read More

Mon

08

Jun

2020

Tackling illegal wildlife poisoning to preserve the remaining Griffon Vulture population in Greece

Read More

Fri

05

Jun

2020

How do vultures contribute to our environment?

Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Read More

Sun

31

May

2020

Many chicks hatched this year again in Bulgaria's only indigenous Griffon Vulture population

Griffon Vulture in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Bogdan Boev
Griffon Vulture in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Bogdan Boev
Read More

Sat

30

May

2020

Electrocuted in Turkey: Vultures and other soaring birds under threat

Polya died from electrocution in Turkey (c) Süleyman Atil
Polya died from electrocution in Turkey (c) Süleyman Atil
Read More

Thu

21

May

2020

Introducing a schematic sampling protocol for raptor biomonitoring to harmonize procedures across Europe

Read More

Thu

14

May

2020

Watch: Griffon Vulture dad feeding his one-month-old chick at the Green Balkans' Centre

Belcho feeding his chick (c) Green Balkans
Belcho feeding his chick (c) Green Balkans
Read More

Sun

03

May

2020

Watch vulture videos and nest cams to feel closer to our feathered friends

Griffon Vultures and Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Griffon Vultures and Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Read More

Sat

02

May

2020

Are vultures really becoming livestock predators? Shedding some light on negative misconceptions and false accusations – new paper

Griffon Vultures (c) Gianluca Damiani
Griffon Vultures (c) Gianluca Damiani
Read More

Sun

26

Apr

2020

Lords of the Rhodopean Skies — a new online wildlife photography exhibition available for a limited time

Read More

Fri

24

Apr

2020

The website of our latest LIFE project in Cyprus, LIFE with Vultures, is now available for the public!

Griffon Vulture flying near Episkopi Cliffs (c) Oliver Burton
Griffon Vulture flying near Episkopi Cliffs (c) Oliver Burton
Read More

Fri

24

Apr

2020

Research review: new article demonstrates the value of research for effective vulture conservation

Cinereous Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Cinereous Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Read More

Thu

23

Apr

2020

Why, when, where? Rigorous investigation answers important questions about illegal wildlife poisoning in Serbia

Poisoned Marsh Harriers (c) Boštjan Deberšek
Poisoned Marsh Harriers (c) Boštjan Deberšek
Read More

Wed

22

Apr

2020

Earth Day 2020: Why it is more important than ever to preserve our nature and vultures

Read More

Wed

15

Apr

2020

Animal carcasses — from a problem to a conservation opportunity

Griffon Vultures at a feeding site (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Griffon Vultures at a feeding site (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Read More

Donate

Support our work and help us protect vultures

Want to keep up to date?

Campaigns