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OLD WORLD VULTURES are vultures that are found in the Old World
Old World
, i.e. the continents of Europe, Asia
Asia
and Africa, and which belong to the family Accipitridae
Accipitridae
, which also includes eagles , buzzards , kites , and hawks .

Old World
Old World
vultures are not closely related to the superficially similar New World vultures and condors , and do not share that group's good sense of smell. The similarities between the two groups of vultures are due to convergent evolution rather than a close relationship. They were widespread in both the Old World
Old World
and North America , during the Neogene
Neogene
. Old World
Old World
vultures are probably a polyphyletic group within Accipitridae, with palm-nut vulture , Egyptian vulture
Egyptian vulture
and Bearded vulture
Bearded vulture
separate from the others. Most authorities refer to two major clades: GYPAETINAE and AEGYPIINAE ( Aegypius , Gyps
Gyps
, Sarcogyps , Torgos , Trigonoceps and possibly Necrosyrtes ). The former seem to be nested with Perninae hawks, while the latter are closely related and possibly even synonymous with Aquilinae . Within Aegypiinae, Torgos, Aegypius, Sarcogyps and Trigonoceps are particularly closely related and possibly within the same genus.

Both Old World
Old World
and New World vultures are scavenging birds , feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals . Old World
Old World
vultures find carcasses exclusively by sight. A particular characteristic of many vultures is a semi-bald head , sometimes without feathers or with simple down. Historically, it was thought that this was due to feeding habits, as feathers would be glued with decaying flesh and blood. However, more recent studies have shown that it is actually a thermoregulatory adaptation to avoid facial overheating; the presence or absence of complex feathers seems to matter little in feeding habits, as some vultures are quite raptorial.

CONTENTS

* 1 Species

* 2 Threats

* 2.1 Diclofenac
Diclofenac
* 2.2 Poisoning * 2.3 Traditional medicine

* 3 Conservation efforts * 4 References * 5 External links

SPECIES

SUBFAMILY GENUS COMMON AND BINOMIAL NAMES IMAGE RANGE

Gypaetinae Gypaetus Bearded vulture
Bearded vulture
Gypaetus barbatus High mountains in southern Europe
Europe
, the Caucasus
Caucasus
, Africa
Africa
, the Indian subcontinent, and Tibet
Tibet

Gypohierax Palm-nut vulture Gypohierax angolensis Forest and savannah across sub-Saharan Africa
Africa

Neophron Egyptian vulture
Egyptian vulture
Neophron percnopterus Southwestern Europe
Europe
and northern Africa
Africa
to India
India

Aegypiinae Aegypius Cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus Southwestern and central Europe
Europe
, Turkey
Turkey
, the central Middle East , northern India
India
, central and east Asia
Asia

Aegypius jinniushanensis

Formerly China
China

Aegypius prepyrenaicus

Formerly Spain
Spain

Gyps
Gyps
Griffon vulture
Griffon vulture
Gyps
Gyps
fulvus Mountains in southern Europe
Europe
, north Africa
Africa
and Asia
Asia

White-rumped vulture Gyps
Gyps
bengalensis Northern and central India
India
, Pakistan
Pakistan
, Nepal
Nepal
, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and southeast Asia
Asia

Rüppell\'s vulture Gyps
Gyps
rueppelli The Sahel region
Sahel region
of central Africa
Africa

Indian vulture Gyps
Gyps
indicus Central and peninsular India
India

Slender-billed vulture Gyps
Gyps
tenuirostris The Sub-Himalayan regions of India
India
and into Southeast Asia
Asia

Himalayan vulture Gyps
Gyps
himalayensis The Himalayas
Himalayas
and Tibetan Plateau
Tibetan Plateau

White-backed vulture
White-backed vulture
Gyps
Gyps
africanus Savannahs of west and east Africa
Africa

Cape vulture
Cape vulture
Gyps
Gyps
coprotheres Southern Africa
Africa

Necrosyrtes Hooded vulture Necrosyrtes monachus Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa

Sarcogyps Red-headed vulture Sarcogyps calvus The Indian Subcontinent
Indian Subcontinent
, with small disjunct populations in Southeast Asia
Asia

Torgos Lappet-faced vulture Torgos tracheliotos Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa
, the Sinai
Sinai
and Negev
Negev
deserts and north-west Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Trigonoceps White-headed vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa

Neogyps

† = EXTINCT

THREATS

DICLOFENAC

Diclofenac
Diclofenac
poisoning has caused the vulture population in India
India
and Pakistan
Pakistan
to decline by up to 99% , and two or three species of vulture in South Asia
Asia
are nearing extinction. This has been caused by the practice of medicating working farm animals with diclofenac, which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with anti-inflammatory and pain-killing actions. Diclofenac
Diclofenac
administration keeps animals that are ill or in pain working on the land for longer, but, if the ill animals die, their carcasses contain diclofenac. Farmers leave the dead animals out in the open, relying on vultures to tidy up. Diclofenac
Diclofenac
present in carcass flesh is eaten by vultures, which are sensitive to diclofenac, and they suffer kidney failure, visceral gout , and death as a result of diclofenac poisoning .

The decline in vultures has led to hygiene problems in India
India
as carcasses of dead animals now tend to rot, or be eaten by rats or wild dogs , rather than be consumed by vultures. Rabies
Rabies
among these other scavengers is a major health threat. India
India
has one of the world's highest incidences of rabies.

The decline in vultures causes particular problems for certain communities, such as the Parsi , who practice sky burials , where the human corpses are put on the top of a Tower of Silence
Tower of Silence
and are eaten by vultures, leaving only dry bones.

Meloxicam (another NSAID) has been found to be harmless to vultures and should prove an acceptable alternative to diclofenac. The Government of India
India
banned diclofenac, but over a year later, in 2007, it continued to be sold and remains a problem in other parts of the world.

POISONING

Poisoning accounts for a majority of vulture deaths in Africa. Ivory poachers poison carcasses with the intent of killing vultures, since vultures circling over a carcass alert authorities to a kill. Vultures are also unintentionally poisoned when they consume carcasses of predators that have been poisoned by livestock farmers.

TRADITIONAL MEDICINE

Vultures in Africa
Africa
are killed for use in traditional medicine. Vulture
Vulture
heads are believed to provide clairvoyance .

CONSERVATION EFFORTS

A project named " Vulture
Vulture
Restaurant" is underway in Nepal
Nepal
in an effort to conserve the dwindling number of vultures. The "restaurant" is an open grassy area where naturally dying, sick, and old cows are fed to the vultures.

REFERENCES

* ^ Lerner & Mindell 2005 . * ^ (Griffiths et al. 2007, Lerner and Mindell 2005) * ^ A B Mundy, P. et al. 1992. The Vultures of Africa, Academic Press. * ^ A B Wilber, S. & Jackson, J. 1983. Vulture
Vulture
Biology and Management, University of California * ^ (Ward et al. 2008) * ^ "AnimalDiversityWeb: Aegypius: Classification". AnimalDiversity.ummz.umich.edu. Retrieved 2011-05-28. * ^ A B C "Painkillers turned bird killers". New Scientist
New Scientist
. No. 2577. 2006-11-14. p. 7. * ^ Di Quinzio & McCarthy 2008 . * ^ A B Elizabeth Royte (2015-12-10). "Vultures Are Revolting. Here\'s Why We Need to Save Them". National Geographic Magazine. Retrieved 2016-02-29. * ^ A B Madeline Bodin (2014-08-11). "Africa\'s Vultures Threatened By An Assault on All Fronts". Yale Environment 360. Retrieved 2016-02-29. * ^ Haviland, Charles (2008-07-31). "Nepal\'s \'restaurant\' for vultures". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-05-28. * ^ A vulture restaurant in South Africa
Africa
Archived December 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
.

* Di Quinzio, M.; McCarthy, A. (2008-02-26). " Rabies
Rabies
risk among travellers". CMAJ . 178 (5): 567. doi :10.1503/cmaj.071443 . * Ferguson-Lees, James ; Christie, David A. (2001). Raptors of the World. Illustrated by Kim Franklin, David Mead, and Philip Burton. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-618-12762-7 . Retrieved 2011-05-26. * Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim (1999). Birds of India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Illustrated by Clive Byers et al. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04910-6 . OCLC
OCLC
43578307 . * Lerner, Heather R. L.; Mindell, David P. (November 2005). "Phylogeny of eagles, Old World
Old World
vultures, and other Accipitridae
Accipitridae
based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 37 (2): 327–346. doi :10.1016/j.ympev.2005.04.010 . ISSN 1055-7903 . PMID 15925523 . Retrieved 31 May 2011. * Sinclair, Ian; Hockey, Phil; Tarboton, Warwick (2002). SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. Illustrated by Peter Hayman & Norman Arlott (3rd ed.). Cape Town: Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-721-6 . * " Bird
Bird
groups hopeful on vultures". London: