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White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd 
Vulnerable A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Endangered
2008 Near Threatened
2007 Near Threatened
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type   Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 11,300,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals medium Estimated 2001
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 18.3 - - -
Population justification: The species's global population has been estimated at 270,000 individuals.
Trend justification: Declines have exceeded 90% in West Africa (Thiollay 2006), and have also occurred in other parts of the range including Sudan (Nikolaus 2006) and Kenya (M. Virani in litt. 2006), but populations are apparently stable in Ethiopia (Nikolaus 2006) and Tanzania (D. Peterson in litt. 2006). Virani et al. (2011) documented an apparent decline of c.52% over c.15 years in the numbers of Gyps vultures present in the Masai Mara (Kenya) during the ungulate migration season, while in central Kenya an apparent decline of 69% was noted in the numbers of Gyps vultures between 2001 and 2003 (Ogada and Keesing 2010). As these are visiting individuals from a wide-ranging population, declines observed in the Masai Mara study may be representative of declines in Gyps populations ranging across East Africa from Southern Ethiopia to Southern Tanzania (C. Kendall in litt. 2012). Overall trends are difficult to quantify but are suspected to have exceeded 50% over three generations (55 years).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Benin Native Extant       Yes
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Eritrea Native Extant       Yes
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
Gambia Native Extant       Yes
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Guinea Native Extant       Yes
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Vagrant Extant       Yes
Malawi Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
Niger Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
Senegal Native Extant       Yes
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes
Somalia Native Extant       Yes
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
South Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Sudan Native Extant        
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant       Yes
Uganda Native Extant       Yes
Zambia Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Kenya Ol Ari Nyiro site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Desert Hot suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 3500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Gyps africanus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/07/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author Salvadori, 1865
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 11,300,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change