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Old World
Old World
vultures are vultures that are found in the Old World, i.e. the continents of Europe, Asia
Asia
and Africa, and which belong to the family 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. 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.[1] Most authorities refer to two major clades: Gypaetinae
Gypaetinae
and Aegypiinae (Aegypius, Gyps, Sarcogyps, Torgos, Trigonoceps
Trigonoceps
and possibly Necrosyrtes). The former seem to be nested with Perninae
Perninae
hawks, while the latter are closely related and possibly even synonymous with Aquilinae.[2] Within Aegypiinae, Torgos, Aegypius, Sarcogyps
Sarcogyps
and Trigonoceps
Trigonoceps
are particularly closely related and possibly within the same genus.[3] [4] 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.[3][4] [5]

Contents

1 Species 2 Population Declines, Threats, and Implications

2.1 Population Declines 2.2 Threats

2.2.1 Diclofenac 2.2.2 Other poisoning 2.2.3 Traditional medicine

2.3 Implications

3 Conservation efforts 4 References 5 External links

Species[edit]

Subfamily Genus Common and binomial names Image Range

Gypaetinae Gypaetus Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus

High mountains in southern Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Tibet

Gypohierax Palm-nut vulture Gypohierax angolensis

Forest and savannah across sub-Saharan Africa

Neophron Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus

Southwestern Europe
Europe
and northern Africa
Africa
to India

Aegypiinae Aegypius Cinereous vulture Aegypius
Aegypius
monachus[6]

Southwestern and central Europe, Turkey, the central Middle East, northern India, central and east Asia

Aegypius
Aegypius
jinniushanensis

Formerly China

Aegypius
Aegypius
prepyrenaicus

Formerly Spain

Gyps Griffon vulture Gyps
Gyps
fulvus

Mountains in southern Europe, north Africa
Africa
and Asia

White-rumped vulture Gyps
Gyps
bengalensis

Northern and central India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
and southeast Asia

Rüppell's vulture Gyps
Gyps
rueppelli

The Sahel region
Sahel region
of central Africa

Indian vulture Gyps
Gyps
indicus

Central and peninsular India

Slender-billed vulture Gyps
Gyps
tenuirostris

The Sub-Himalayan regions of India
India
and into Southeast Asia

Himalayan vulture Gyps
Gyps
himalayensis

The Himalayas
Himalayas
and Tibetan Plateau

White-backed vulture Gyps
Gyps
africanus

Savannahs of west and east Africa

Cape vulture Gyps
Gyps
coprotheres

Southern Africa

Necrosyrtes Hooded vulture Necrosyrtes
Necrosyrtes
monachus

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sarcogyps Red-headed vulture Sarcogyps
Sarcogyps
calvus

The Indian Subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in Southeast Asia

Torgos Lappet-faced vulture Torgos
Torgos
tracheliotos

Sub-Saharan Africa, the Sinai
Sinai
and Negev
Negev
deserts and north-west Saudi Arabia

Trigonoceps White-headed vulture Trigonoceps
Trigonoceps
occipitalis

Sub-Saharan Africa

†Neogyps

† = extinct Population Declines, Threats, and Implications[edit] Population Declines[edit] More than half of old world vulture species are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.[7] Population declines are caused by a variety of threats that vary by species and region, with most notable declines in Asia
Asia
due to diclofenac use.[7] As vultures play an important role in ecosystems, their population decline can have cultural, public health, and economic implications for communities.[7] Threats[edit] Diclofenac[edit] 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.[8] 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. Meloxicam
Meloxicam
(another NSAID) has been found to be harmless to vultures and should prove an acceptable alternative to diclofenac.[8] 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.[8] Other poisoning[edit] 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.[9][10] Traditional medicine[edit] Vultures in Africa
Africa
are killed for use in traditional medicine. Vulture heads are believed to provide clairvoyance.[9][10] Implications[edit] As vultures play an important role in ecosystems, their population decline can have cultural, public health, and economic implications for communities.[7] 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.[11] Rabies
Rabies
among these other scavengers is a major health threat. India
India
has one of the world's highest incidences of rabies.[12] For communities such as the Parsi, who practice sky burials in which human corpses are put on the top of a Tower of Silence
Tower of Silence
, vulture population declines can have serious cultural implications.[11] Conservation efforts[edit] 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.[13][14] References[edit]

^ 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 d Ogada, Darcy L.; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z. (2012-02-01). "Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1249 (1): 57–71. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06293.x. ISSN 1749-6632.  ^ a b c "Painkillers turned bird killers". New Scientist. No. 2577. 2006-11-14. p. 7.  ^ 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.  ^ a b Dooren, Thom van (2010). "Vultures and Their People in India: Equity and Entanglement in a Time of Extinctions". Manoa. 22 (2): 130–146. ISSN 1527-943X.  ^ Di Quinzio & McCarthy 2008. ^ 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.

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 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: BBC News. 2006-02-06. Retrieved 2011-05-29.  Gentleman, Amelia (2006-03-28). "India's Vultures Fall Prey to a Drug in the Cattle They Feed On". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2011-05-29.  Nair, Preetu (2009-05-09). "Rare breed of vulture spotted in Goa after eight years". Times Of India. Retrieved 2011-05-29. 

External links[edit]

Internet Bird
Bird
Collection.com: Vulture
Vulture
videos Indian birds.com: videos, photographs and resources Publico.pt: A griffon vulture nest

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Accipitridae.

v t e

Vultures

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves

Cathartidae (New World vultures)

Cathartes

Turkey
Turkey
vulture ( Cathartes
Cathartes
aura) Lesser yellow-headed vulture
Lesser yellow-headed vulture
( Cathartes
Cathartes
burrovianus) Greater yellow-headed vulture
Greater yellow-headed vulture
( Cathartes
Cathartes
melambrotus)

Coragyps

American black vulture (Coragyps atratus)

Sarcoramphus

King vulture
King vulture
(Sarcoramphus papa)

Gymnogyps

California condor
California condor
(Gymnogyps californianus)

Vultur

Andean condor
Andean condor
(Vultur gryphus)

Accipitridae: Gypaetinae
Gypaetinae
(eagle-vultures)

Eutriorchis

Madagascan serpent eagle
Madagascan serpent eagle
(Eutriorchis astur)

Gypohierax

Palm-nut vulture
Palm-nut vulture
(Gypohierax angolensis)

Polyboroides

Madagascan harrier-hawk
Madagascan harrier-hawk
( Polyboroides
Polyboroides
radiatus) African harrier-hawk ( Polyboroides
Polyboroides
typus)

Neophron

Egyptian vulture
Egyptian vulture
(Neophron percnopterus)

Gypaetus

Bearded vulture
Bearded vulture
(Gypaetus barbatus)

Accipitridae: Gypinae ( Old World
Old World
vultures)

Sarcogyps

Red-headed vulture
Red-headed vulture
( Sarcogyps
Sarcogyps
calvus)

Trigonoceps

White-headed vulture
White-headed vulture
( Trigonoceps
Trigonoceps
occipitalis)

Aegypius

Cinereous vulture
Cinereous vulture
( Aegypius
Aegypius
monachus)

Torgos

Lappet-faced vulture
Lappet-faced vulture
( Torgos
Torgos
tracheliotos)

Necrosyrtes

Hooded vulture
Hooded vulture
( Necrosyrtes
Necrosyrtes
monachus)

Gyps

White-rumped vulture
White-rumped vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
bengalensis) Himalayan vulture
Himalayan vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
himalayensis) White-backed vulture
White-backed vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
africanus) Rüppell's vulture
Rüppell's vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
rueppellii) Griffon vulture
Griffon vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
fulvus) Indian vulture
Indian vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
indicus) Slender-billed vulture
Slender-billed vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
tenuirostris) Cape vulture
Cape vulture
( Gyps
Gyps
coprothere)

Related topics

Diclofenac Ind

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