Gyps indicus tenuirostris
Gyps indicus nudiceps
The slender-billed vulture (
Gyps tenuirostris) is a recently
recognized species of Old World vulture. For some time, it was
categorized with its relative, the Indian vulture, under the name of
“long-billed vulture”. However, these two species have
non-overlapping distribution ranges and can be immediately told apart
by trained observers, even at considerable distances. The Indian
vulture is found only to the south of the
Ganges and breeds on cliffs
while the slender-billed vulture is found along the Sub-Himalayan
regions and into
Southeast Asia and nests in trees.
2 Distribution and habitat
3 Status and conservation
6 External links
At 80 to 95 cm (31 to 37 in), in length, this mid-sized
vulture is about the same size as its sister species, the Indian
vulture. This vulture is mostly grey with a pale rump and grey
undertail coverts. The thighs have whitish down. The neck is long,
bare, skinny and black. The black head is angular and narrow with the
dark bill appearing narrow midway. The ear opening is prominent and
Distribution and habitat
The slender-billed vulture is found in
India from the Gangetic plain
north, west to Himachal Pradesh, south potentially as far as northern
Odisha, and east through Assam. It is also found in north and
central Bangladesh, southern Nepal,
Burma and Cambodia.
Status and conservation
Indian vulture crisis
This species has suffered a marked decline in its numbers in recent
years. The population of this species and the
Indian vulture declined
by 97% overall and in
India annual decline rates for both species
averaged over 16% between 2000-2007. Wild populations remain from
northern and eastern
India through southern
Nepal and Bangladesh, with
a small population in Burma. The only breeding colony in Southeast
Asia is in the Steung Treng province of Cambodia. This colony is
thought to number about 50–100 birds. The survival of the vultures
Cambodia may have been partly because diclofenac, which is
poisonous to vultures, is not available there. The Royal Society for
the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has placed the approximate number of
slender-billed vultures living beyond confines at about 1,000 in 2009
and predictions estimate total extinction within the next decade
amongst the wild population.
The slender-billed vulture is a protected species listed on the
appendix II list of CITES, because its numbers have declined rapidly.
Its decline is largely due to the use of the non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac in working farm animals.
Diclofenac is poisonous to vultures, causing kidney failure, and is
being replaced by meloxicam (another NSAID), which is not toxic to
vultures. The retail sale of
Diclofenac is banned by law in India;
Diclofenac is still acquired illegally and applied to
Captive-breeding programs in
India are aiming to conserve the species,
and it is hoped that vultures can be released back in the wild when
the environment is free of diclofenac. Joint efforts between the
RSPB and the
Zoological Society of London
Zoological Society of London resulted in the first
successful captive breeding in 2009. Two slender-billed vultures
hatched and are being independently cared for in
Haryana and West
BirdLife International (2013). "
IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List of
Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for
Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
^ Gray GR (1944) The Genera of Birds. volume 1:6
^ Hume A O (1878) Stray Feathers 7:326
^ Deignan, HG (1946). "The correct names of three Asiatic birds"
(PDF). Ibis. 88: 402–403.
^ Baker, ECS (1927) Bull. Brit. Orn. Club 47:151
^ Rand, AL & RL Fleming (1957). "Birds from Nepal". Fieldiana:
Zoology. 41 (1): 55.
Vulture facts (2011).
^ Rasmussen, PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia: The
Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions.
^ a b Rare Birds Yearbook 2008. England: MagDig Media Lmtd. 2007.
pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-9552607-3-5.
^ a b c d Alleyne, Richard (2009-08-06). "Endangered vulture could be
saved thanks to help from RSPB". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved
^ a b "
Indian vulture births are hailed". BBC News. 2009-08-06.
^ a b Press Association (2009-08-06). "Boost for endangered vultures
after captive breeding success". Guardian.co.uk. Retrieved
Colony of Endangered Vultures Discovered in Cambodia
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Slender-billed vulture videos
Cathartidae (New World vultures)
Turkey vulture (
Lesser yellow-headed vulture
Lesser yellow-headed vulture (
Greater yellow-headed vulture
Greater yellow-headed vulture (
American black vulture (Coragyps atratus)
King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)
California condor (Gymnogyps californianus)
Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)
Accipitridae: Gypaetinae (eagle-vultures)
Madagascan serpent eagle
Madagascan serpent eagle (Eutriorchis astur)
Palm-nut vulture (Gypohierax angolensis)
Madagascan harrier-hawk (
African harrier-hawk (
Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus)
Accipitridae: Gypinae (Old World vultures)
Red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus)
White-headed vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis)
Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus)
Lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotos)
Hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus)
White-rumped vulture (
Himalayan vulture (
White-backed vulture (
Rüppell's vulture (
Griffon vulture (
Indian vulture (
Slender-billed vulture (
Cape vulture (
Indian vulture crisis