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White rumped Vulture

IUCN Status Globally: Critically Endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Family: Accipitridae of Old World Vultures

In the year 1985 the species was described as “probably the most plentiful large bird of prey in the world” and often measured a nuisance but is at the moment rare and faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. The species was in attendance in great numbers, in Southern and Southeastern Asia until the 1990s and declined swiftly in numbers since; up to 99.9 % between 1992 and 2007.

Like other vultures it is a forager and a scavenger, nourishing mostly from dying an rotten carcasses of dead animals which it locates by flying high in thermals and spotting other scavengers. When a dead animal is spotted, they quickly land and feed voraciously, and later will perch on trees nearby. They are known to sometimes come down to the ground even after the night has fallen to fetch the remains of a carcass. When feeding at carcasses they are overwhelmed by their descendants, the Red-headed Vultures.

The White-rumpeds are distinctive, medium-sized vulture, with a featherless head and neck, very large wings, and small tail feathers. It is much smaller than the Eurasian Griffon. It has a white neck and the adult’s whitish back, rump, and under wing clandestine disparity with the otherwise dark plumage. The body is black and the secondary are silvery grey. These vultures nest on elevated trees frequently near human habitations in northern and central Pakistan, India, Nepal, and southeast Asia, laying a lone egg.

Conservation actions have incorporated reintroduction, captive-breeding curriculum and synthetic feeding or “vulture restaurants”. Two chicks, which were it seems that the first captive-bred White-rumped Vultures ever, hatched in January 2007, at a captivity at Pinjore, India. However, they died after a few weeks, it sounds as if because their parents were an inexpert pair breeding for the first time in their lives – a fairly ordinary happening in birds of prey.

References: Wikipedia, IUCN Redlist of threatened species

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