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Cinereous Vulture Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Aegypius monachus
  • Class

  • Order

  • Range

    Northern Africa and Spain east through China and Thailand

  • Status

    Near threatened. Lincoln Park Zoo cooperatively manages cinereous vulture populations with other institutions in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Habitat

    Dry plains, grasslands and mountainous forests

  • Niche

    A scavenger, the cinereous vulture feeds on carrion ranging from large mammals to fish and reptiles. Scavengers play an important role in the ecosystems they inhabit; by feeding on dead animals they recycle nutrients and speed the process of decomposition.

  • Life History

    Cinereous vultures build their nests in trees and on cliffs high above the ground, using sticks and twigs as building materials. Males and females cooperate in rearing young.

  • Special Adaptations

    • Massive beak is well suited for feeding on tough material such as sinew, dry skin and muscle.
    • The short feathers on the cinereous vulture's head and neck keep the bird healthy by preventing gore from accumulating when the animal is feeding.
    • Sharp eyesight helps the vulture spot carcasses from far above.


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