The Cape Griffon Vulture (more commonly known as the Cape vulture) is a large bird; the largest of its kind in Africa.
Its size is clearly no measure of its ability to survive for the IUCN Red List lists it as Vulnerable and it is also the most endangered of the vultures; its already small population, distributed over various colonies, likely to continue declining unless conservation increases its efforts.
Called ‘Cape’ vulture because of the bird’s original commonplace sighting throughout the former Cape province of South Africa, it is today confined to a small part of south and southwest Africa.
Its population has significantly declined over the last few decades. Today there are colonies in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa. In Swaziland they are extinct, and only non-breeding populations survive in Zimbabwe and Namibia.
In South Africa 39% of the colonies recorded between 1987 and 1992 are now inactive.
In 2006 an estimation of the total population of Cape vultures brought the overall figures to between 8 000 and 10 000 individuals. The species is thought to have declined by as much as 70% between 1992 and 2007 in eastern South Africa. Continued