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

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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact:
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 19/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/04/2014.

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 (Osprey, kites, hawks and 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
- Climate change species distributions