White-backed Vulture

Scientific Name: Gyps africanus

White-backed Vultures are the most widespread and common vulture species in Africa. In 2000 White-backed Vultures were listed as Vulnerable in the Red Data Book. In 2015 their status was uplifted to Critically Endangered. The population size reduction has been listed as 90% over the last 3 generations, a rate which is not sustainable and will possibly see this species going extinct over the next three generations. There is a regional population of about 7350 mature birds left.

The increasing incidents of large-scale poisoning, most notably motivated by poaching incidents and harvesting for the traditional health industry, have been identified as the biggest threats to this species.

The White-backed Vulture is a medium sized vulture species with predominantly brown plumage, except for the distinct white patch on the lower back and rump which is where the species gets its name from.

They are a lowland species, preferring open wooded savanna. They prefer nesting in tall trees, and have been recorded as nesting on electricity pylons. The species is gregarious at carcasses and roost sites and nests in loose colonies

Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project