Wild Birds

Red-headed Vultures

Old World (Europe, Asia and Africa) Vulture Information and Species
Old World Vultures Photo Gallery


For a red-headed vulture found in America, please refer to the Turkey Vulture. These two vultures look alike in many ways, but the Turkey Vulture has an ivory-colored beak, while the South Asian Red-headed Vulture has a black beak.

Closeup Image of Red-headed Vultures
Closeup Image of Red-headed Vultures


The Red-headed Vultures (Sarcogyps calvus), also known as the Asian King Vulture, Indian Black Vulture or Pondicherry Vulture, is a species of Old World vulture found in South Asia.

Up to 85 cm (34 in) long and weighing 3.7-5.4 kg (8.2-11.9 lbs), this gaudy-faced vulture was historically abundant with ranges over south-central and south-eastern Asia extending from Pakistan to Singapore. Today the range of the Red-headed Vulture is localized primarily to Nepal and northern India where it is found in open country and in cultivated and semi-desert areas.

It used to be declining, but only slowly; in 1994 it was uplisted to Near Threatened from Least Concern by the IUCN. The widespread use of the NSAID Diclofenac – a compound now known to be extremely poisonous to vultures – in veterinary medicine in India has caused its population to collapse in recent years, however. The population of this species has essentially halved every other year since the late 1990s, and what once was a plentiful species numbering in the hundreds of thousands has come dangerously close to extinction in a mere decade-and-a-half or so. Consequently it is uplisted to Critically Endangered in the 2007 IUCN Red List.

Large Red-headed African Vultures in the Ground
Large Red-headed African Vultures in the Ground


Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.org … Additional information and photos added by Avianweb.



Please Note: The articles or images on this page are the sole property of the authors or photographers. Please contact them directly with respect to any copyright or licensing questions. Thank you.

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button