Eurasian Black Vulture
Population are constantly increasing
This is one of the largest diurnal raptors of Europe, with a wingspan of nearly 2m80.
Being an exclusive carrion-eater, it eats every cadaver that it can find: marmots, hare, rabbits, sheep and bovids in Europe; endemic gazelles and other mammals in Asia.
In Tibet, yak carcasses are on the menu and also… occasionally the human corpses exposed on rocky platforms at the time of the funereal ritual of dismemberment: the bodies are cut up and offered to the vultures according to century-old Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
On a carcass, the Cinereous Vulture is dominant thanks to its very powerful beak that can easily tear apart tendons and thick skin.
Seen from far, its bare head covered with fine down can make one think of a tonsure: hence its description as “monk”, with the comparison stopping there!
The reintroduction of the Cinereous Vulture into the Alps and other mountain-habitats of Europe are – thanks to breeding-programs in zoos – a big success: population are constantly increasing.
A "near threatened" species
- Name : Eurasian Black Vulture
- Latin name : Aegypius monachus
- Origin : From Spain to China and Northern India, Turkey and the Caucasus
- IUCN status : Near threatened
- Cites : Appendix II