Scientific Name

Egyptian Vulture: Neophron percnopterus; Hooded Vulture: Necrosyrtes monachus; White-backed Vulture: Gyps africanus; Rüppell’s Vulture: Gyps reuppelli


1.5 to 11 kilograms (3 to 24 pounds)


58 to 115 centimeters tall (22 to 45 inches)

Life span

Up to 20 years in the wild; up to 37 in captivity


Mountains, savanna, woodlands, desert


Mostly carnivorous


30 to 50 days



Vultures clear up to
of Africa’s carrion
In Africa there are
species of vultures
West Africa has lost
of its white-backed vultures


Poachers are poisoning these precious birds.

As the birds flock to animal carcasses, they also give away sites of poachers’ activities. Wanting to remain undetected, poachers have turned their sights on vultures too. What’s more, they are increasingly targeted for their heads, which are widely used in traditional medicine.

Development is depriving them of food and habitat.

As humans expand their communities and agricultural lands, new problems arise for vultures. New infrastructure, like power lines, presents myriad hazardous obstacles for these birds during flight. Meanwhile, agricultural expansion is pushing ungulates out of the bird’s territory, reducing the amount of carrion available to these scavengers.


Our solutions to protecting and conserving vultures:

Community Empowerment
Collaborate with communities.

We are educating communities on the ecosystem and economic benefits of wildlife and we are also working with communities to set aside protected land for wildlife — in the form of conservancies.

Recruit wildlife scouts.

AWF recruits, trains and equips scouts who protect wildlife from poachers. Wildlife scouts are familiar with landscapes, wildlife and community members. As insiders, they are able to quickly identify any suspicious activity. They monitor ecosystems and work with local authorities, like Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), to help them apprehend poachers and even identify would-be poachers.



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