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Gyps fulvus

warning Critically Endangered
CR (A2c,C1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev

The Griffon Vulture is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) because of the sharp decline in its population size and range. The rate of decline in breeding range is estimated at more than 80% over three generations (53.4 years) and the rate of decline in the number of individuals is estimated at more than 25% over one generation (17.8 years). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), the Griffon Vulture was classified as Vulnerable (VU). The change in its status reflects the deterioration in the population that decreased from about 120 breeding pairs in the early 2000s to about 40 pairs today.
CR Current Regional Assessment | VU Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Desert Cliffs, Mediterranean Cliffs
Presence In Israel Resident
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident
Zoography Zones Mediterranean, Saharo-Arabian
Landscape Formations Cliffs
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Cliffs
Diet Types Carrion
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Large (over 1000g)
Threat Factors Powerline Interactions, Human Settlements in Gorges, Hiking & Climbing, Pesticide Poisoning, Lead Poisoning, Aircraft Activity, Food Scarcity, Direct Persecution

The Griffon Vulture is a rare resident in Israel that nests in colonies in the Golan Heights, Mt. Carmel, the Judean Desert and the Negev Highlands. It was a common breeding species until the 1950s and nested in all the mountainous and cliff areas in Israel, from the Mt. Hermon slopes to the Eilat Mountains. In the 1980s, it nested in all the areas it occupies today, as well as in the Eastern Galilee, Eastern Samaria and the northern Judean Desert.

Diverse mountainous and transected landscapes in all climate conditions. Nests on cliffs.

Extensive efforts are invested in conserving the Griffon Vulture population in Israel as part of the “Spreading Wings over Israeli Raptors”, a joint project of the Israel Electric Corporation, the INPA and the SPNI:
Continuous research and monitoring of the breeding population.
Feeding stations to ensure a regular, safe (pesticide-free) source of food.
Sanitation and removal from grazing areas of carcasses that could contain pesticides.
Power line insulation to prevent electrocution.
Captive breeding nucleus and releasing young birds into nature

The Griffon Vulture was once a common resident breeder in most parts of Israel. A gradual decrease in population size and range has been recorded since the early 1950s, due to a number of factors, including unregulated use of agricultural pesticides, changes in sanitation measures and veterinary care of livestock, electrocution on power lines, disturbances at the nest, etc. The Griffon Vulture population in Israel is critically endangered and survives only through intensive conservation efforts.

In order to maintain a sustainable Griffon Vulture population, it is necessary to reduce the number of birds decimated each year by pesticides, lead poisoning, electrocution and collisions with power lines and infrastructure. Until these factors are dealt with (by legislation, enforcement and cooperation with the Israel Electric Corporation and other stakeholders), it is necessary to continue with the above-mentioned conservation efforts.

  • הצופה, א., צוער, א., דולב, ע. וסבח, ע. 2017. מצב הנשרים חורף 2017 : ספירה וקינון. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • הרלינג, א. 2001. סיכום סקר קינון דורסי יום בשמורת עין גדי. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • מירוז, א. והצופה, א. 2014. סיכום סקר קינון עופות דורסים במדבר יהודה. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • פרידמן, ג. 2010. סיכום סקר דורסי יום במחוז צפון. דו"ח עבור רשות הטבע והגנים והחברה להגנת הטבע.
  • Mendelssohn, H. 1972. The impact of pesticides on bird life in Israel. ICBP 11:75-104.
  • Shirihai, H., 1996. The Birds of Israel. Academic Press, London.
  • Symes, A. 2013. Species generation lengths. Unpublished, BirdLife International.
  • Species page at Birdlife International
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

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