Gyps coprotheres (*)
Gyps coprotheres (J.R. Forster, 1798)
Naturgeschichte der Africanischen Vogel. p.35 pl.10
The Cape Griffon or Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres), also known as Kolbe's Vulture, is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. It is endemic to southern Africa, and is found mainly in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and in some parts of northern Namibia. It nests on cliffs and usually lays one egg per year.
This vulture is dark brown except for the pale wing coverts. The adult is paler than the juvenile, and its underwing coverts can appear almost white at a distance. The average length is about 1-1.15 m (3.3-3.8 ft) with a wingspan of about 2.4-2.6 m (7.9-8.5 ft) and a body weight of 7-11 kg (15.5-24 lb). They are on average the largest raptor in Africa, although they are subservient to the powerful Lappet-faced Vulture.
The species is listed by the IUCN as "Vulnerable", the major problems it faces being poisoning, disturbance at breeding colonies and electrocution. The current population is estimated at 8,000.
* BirdLife International (2006). Gyps coprotheres. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map, a brief justification of why this species is vulnerable, and the criteria used
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