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The red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), also known as the Asian king vulture, Indian black vulture or Pondicherry vulture,[2] is an Old World vulture
Old World vulture
mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in some parts of Southeast Asia.

Contents

1 Description 2 Taxonomy and systematics 3 Distribution and habitat 4 Conservation status 5 References 6 External links

Description[edit] It is a medium-sized vulture of 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 in) in length, weighing 3.5–6.3 kg (7.7–13.9 lb) and having a wingspan of about 1.99–2.6 m (6.5–8.5 ft).[3][4] It has a prominent naked head: deep-red to orange in the adult, paler red in the juvenile. It has a black body with pale grey band at the base of the flight feathers. The sexes differ in colour of the iris: males have a paler, whitish iris, whilst in females it is dark brown.[5]

Red headed vulture female at Ranthambore

Taxonomy and systematics[edit] This is a species of Old World vulture
Old World vulture
found in the Indian subcontinent. It has no subspecies. Distribution and habitat[edit] This gaudy-faced vulture was historically abundant, range widely across the Indian subcontinent, and also eastwards to south-central and south-eastern Asia, extending from India
India
to Singapore. Today the range of the red-headed vulture is localized primarily to northern India. It is usually in open country and in cultivated and semi-desert areas. It is also found in deciduous forests and foothills and river valleys. It is usually found up to an altitude of 3000m from sea level.[6]

At Berlin Zoo

Conservation status[edit] Main article: Indian vulture
Indian vulture
crisis The red-headed vulture used to be declining, but only slowly; in 2004 the species was uplisted to Near Threatened
Near Threatened
from Least Concern
Least Concern
by the IUCN. The widespread use of the NSAID
NSAID
Diclofenac
Diclofenac
in veterinary medicine in India
India
has caused its population to collapse in recent years, however. Diclofenac
Diclofenac
is a compound now known to be extremely poisonous to vultures. The red-headed vulture population 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 less than two decades. Consequently, it was uplisted to Critically Endangered in the 2007 IUCN
IUCN
Red List.[1] Several NSAIDs have been found to be harmful to scavenging birds. Diclofenac, carprofen, flunixin, ibuprofen and phenylbutazone were associated with mortality. Meloxicam
Meloxicam
has thus far been found to be "Vulture-Safe" and its use in veterinary treatment of livestock is being encouraged.[7][8] References[edit]

^ a b BirdLife International (2013). "Sarcogyps calvus". IUCN
IUCN
Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.  ^ Ali, S. (1993). The Book of Indian Birds. Bombay: Bombay Natural History Society. ISBN 0-19-563731-3.  ^ WWF- Red-headed Vulture
Vulture
(2011). ^ Raptors of the World by Ferguson-Lees, Christie, Franklin, Mead & Burton. Houghton Mifflin (2001), ISBN 0-618-12762-3 ^ Naoroji, Rishad (2006). Birds of Prey of the Indian subcontinent. pp. 282–287.  ^ Ferguson-Lees, James; David A. Christie (2001-09-17). Raptors of the world. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 443–444. ISBN 978-0-618-12762-7.  ^ Cuthbert, Richard; et al. "NSAIDs and scavenging birds: potential impacts beyond Asia's critically endangered vultures". The Royal Society. Retrieved 11 May 2011.  ^ Milius, Susan (4 February 2006). [tp://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/7025/title/Bird-Safe_Rx_Alternative_drug_wont_kill_Indias_svultures "Bird-Safe Rx: Alternative drug won't kill India's vultures"]. ScienceNews. 169 (#5): 70. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sarcogyps calvus.

Wikispecies
Wikispecies
has information related to Sarcogyps calvus

Vulture
Vulture
Territory Facts and Characteristics: Pondicherry Vulture BirdLife Species Factsheet.

v t e

Vultures

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves

Cathartidae (New World vultures)

Cathartes

Turkey vulture
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 (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 vultures)

Sarcogyps

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

Trigonoceps

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

Aegypius

Cinereous vulture
Cinereous vulture
(Aegypius monachus)

Torgos

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

Necrosyrtes

Hooded vulture
Hooded vulture
(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 Indian vulture
Indian vulture
crisis

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q628068 ADW: Sarcogyps_calvus ARKive: sarcogyps-calvus eBird: rehvul1 EoL: 1047565 GBIF: 2480717 ITIS: 175492 IUCN: 22695254 NCBI: 43

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