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Cape Vulture Gyps coprotheres
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered  
Endangered A2acde+3cde+4cde 
Vulnerable A2acde+3cde+4cde; C1+2a(ii) 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2015 Endangered
2013 Vulnerable
2013 Vulnerable
2012 Vulnerable
2008 Vulnerable
2006 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type continent
Average mass -

Distribution

  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 733,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 9400 good Estimated 2013
Population trend Decreasing good Estimated -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulation 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 16 - - -
Population justification: In 2006, the total population was estimated at 8,000-10,000 individuals (M. Diekmann in litt. 2006), roughly equivalent to 5,300-6,700 mature individuals. The global population estimate was revised in 2013 with an estimate of 4,700 pairs or 9,400 mature individuals (BirdLife South Africa in prep.).
Trend justification: The population is estimated to have declined by 10% between 1994 and 1999 (Barnes 2000), and over the period 1992-2007, the species declined by 60-70% in eastern South Africa (McKean and Botha 2007). There remains some uncertainty over the severity of population declines experienced by this species. Ogada et al. (2015) estimate a median decline of 92% (range: 87-94%) over three generations (48 years). However according to the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds (BirdLife South Africa in prep.), declines in South Africa since the 1960s may be between 66 and 81%, and some populations in South Africa are reported to be increasing (Benson 2015, P. Benson in litt. 2015).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Angola Native Extant   Yes    
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Vagrant Extant        
Lesotho Native Extant       Yes
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Namibia Native Extinct   Yes    
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
Swaziland Native Extinct   Yes    
Zambia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Zimbabwe Native Extant   Yes    

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Botswana Mannyelanong Hill site factsheet
Botswana Tswapong Hills site factsheet
Lesotho Liqobong site factsheet
Lesotho Mafika - Lisiu site factsheet
Lesotho Sehlabathebe National Park site factsheet
Lesotho Sehonghong and Matebeng site factsheet
Lesotho Upper Quthing Valley site factsheet
Lesotho Upper Senqu River site factsheet
Mozambique Changelane river gorge site factsheet
Mozambique Maputo Special Reserve site factsheet
Namibia Waterberg Plateau Park site factsheet
South Africa Blouberg site factsheet
South Africa Blyde River Canyon site factsheet
South Africa Collywobbles Vulture Colony site factsheet
South Africa De Hoop Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Golden Gate Highlands National Park site factsheet
South Africa Greater Ngwangwana River site factsheet
South Africa Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park site factsheet
South Africa Kruger National Park and adjacent areas site factsheet
South Africa KwaZulu-Natal Mistbelt Grasslands site factsheet
South Africa Magaliesberg site factsheet
South Africa Mkhambati Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Pilanesberg National Park site factsheet
South Africa Soutpansberg site factsheet
South Africa Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park site factsheet
South Africa Umtamvuna Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Waterberg System site factsheet
Zimbabwe Hwange National Park site factsheet
Zimbabwe Wabai Hill (Debshan Ranch) site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land Suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland Suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland Suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot Suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate Suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate Suitable breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) Major breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable non-breeding
Savanna Dry Suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry Suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 3100 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Stresses
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
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 Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) No decline Low Impact: 4
Stresses
None
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality

Utilisation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - -  
Medicine - human & veterinary - - -  
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - -  
Medicine - human and veterinary - - - Subsistence, National
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Gyps coprotheres. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/09/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/09/2016.

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 (Forster, 1798)
Population size 9400 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 733,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change