Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Near Threatened A2cde
2016 Near Threatened A2cde
2014 Near Threatened A2cde
2013 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Near Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 61,700,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1675-6700 poor suspected 2021
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 14.2 - - -

Population justification: Ferguson-Lees et al. (2001) estimated the population to number 1,000-10,000 individuals, but in Europe the population is estimated at 630-960 pairs, which equates to 1,260-1,920 mature individuals, or roughly 1,890-2,880 individuals (BirdLife International in prep.). The population in Nepal was estimated at c.500 individuals in 2010 (K. Paudel and T. Galligan in litt. 2014). In Iraq, there may be fewer than 20 pairs (R. Porter in litt. 2013), with less than 100 mature individuals in the Arabian Peninsula (Symes et al. 2015). There are estimated to be a few hundred pairs in Ethiopia (I. Angelov in litt. 2011). In 2011, there were only three nest-sites known in Kenya, and six or more in Tanzania, with the population in Uganda unknown, although there was evidence of near total loss of the Mt Elgon population (S. Thomsett in litt. 2011). There are estimated to be 6-10 pairs in Morocco (Cuzin 2019) but not recent information on its status in Algeria, and it is considered extinct in Tunisia (F. Cuzin in litt. 2011). The total population in North Africa is therefore estimated to be c. 8-14 breeding pairs. In southern Africa, including South Africa, the population is estimated at c.100 breeding pairs (S. Krüger in litt. 2012). A revised global estimate is therefore 2,500-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 1,675-6,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Population trends vary throughout the species range. The European population has increased since 1980, largely due to conservation actions such as reintroduction programmes (BirdLife International in prep.). However, surveys in Upper Mustang, Nepal, recorded a decline of 89.3% in the population along the primary transect during 2002-2014, equating to a decline of >99% over three generations (42.6 years [Bird et al. 2020]), suspected to have been caused by diclofenac poisoning (Paudel et al. 2016). However, the same study found no evidence of declines in smaller, more remote locations. In the Himalayas of India, there has been a perceived decline in recent years (P. Trivedi in litt. 2013). It was once commonly seen in the western and central Himalayas, but in recent years it has not been observed as frequently in the central lower Himalaya, perhaps owing to disturbance (R. Naoroji in litt. 2011), and there has been an apparent decline in Uttarakhand since the late 1990s (M. Sharma in litt. 2014). Populations in Ladakh and along the high Himalayas are regarded as likely to be secure (R. Naoroji in litt. 2011). The frequency of reports of Bearded Vulture sightings in India on eBird declined by c.60% during 2000-2018, indicating a population decline in this area (SoIB 2020). The population appears to be stable in south-eastern Kazakhstan (S. Sklyarenko in litt. 2011). In Yemen, the species appears to have declined since the early 1980s (R. Porter in litt. 2013). The species's range and population in Turkey also appear to have declined in recent years (K. A. Boyla in litt. 2014, BirdLife International 2015). In Armenia, the population has been stable since the 1990s (M. Ghasabyan in litt. 2011). In the isolated population in southern Africa, the species's breeding range has declined by about 27% since the early 1980s, with the number of breeding territories declining by 32-51% between 1960-1999 and 2000-2012 (Krüger et al. 2014, S. Krüger in litt. 2012) due to increased mortality (Kruger et al. 2015) and reduced breeding productivity (Kruger & Amar 2017). Overall, it is suspected that the population has declined by 20-29% over the past three generations.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes Yes
Albania N Extinct Yes
Algeria N Possibly Extant Yes
Andorra N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria R Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extinct Yes
Bulgaria N Extinct Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Croatia V Extant Yes
Cyprus V Extant Yes
Czechia V Extant Yes
Djibouti N Possibly Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
France N Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany V Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Israel V Extant Yes
Italy R Extant Yes
Jordan V Extant
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Lebanon V Extant Yes
Lesotho N Extant Yes
Liechtenstein N Extinct Yes
Mauritania V Extinct Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extinct Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Mozambique V Extant Yes
Namibia V Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
North Korea V Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extinct Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes Yes
Palestine V Extinct Yes
Portugal V Extant Yes
Romania V Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Possibly Extinct Yes
Serbia N Extinct Yes
Somalia V Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Switzerland R Extant Yes
Syria N Extinct Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe V Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
North Macedonia Kozhuf mountain and Boshava river
North Macedonia Demir Kapija Gorge
North Macedonia River Crna gorge
North Macedonia Babuna gorge, Topolka gorge, and Crn Kamen
North Macedonia Shar Planina Mountain
Georgia Ritsa
Azerbaijan Turianchai
Azerbaijan Mount Babadag
Azerbaijan Mount Bazar-Duzu
Azerbaijan Mount Dalidag
Azerbaijan Mount Giamysh
Azerbaijan Ilisu area
Azerbaijan Ismailly area
Azerbaijan Lachin area
Azerbaijan Ordubad area
Azerbaijan Shahbuz area
Azerbaijan Mount Shahdag
Azerbaijan Zuvand upland
Andorra Pirineo de Andorra
Turkey Uludağ
Turkey Murat Mountain
Turkey Akdağ - Çivril
Turkey Türkmenbaba Mountain
Turkey Kızılcahamam Forests
Turkey İlgaz Mountains
Turkey Eastern Black Sea Mountains [incl Karcal Mountains]
Turkey Aladağlar
Greece Thrypti and Orno mountains, Crete
Greece Mount Dikti, Crete
Greece Mount Asterousia (Kofinas), Crete
Greece Mount Idi, Crete
Greece Mount Kedros and Kourtaliotiko gorge, Crete
Greece Lefka Ori mountains, Crete
Greece Mount Parnassos
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Mount Vardousia
Greece Tymfi (Gkamila) and Smolikas mountains
Greece Mount Voras (Kaïmaktsalan)
Greece Mount Koutroulis, Mount Agios Dikaios and Modia plateau, Crete
Greece Mount Kryoneritis, Crete
Greece Mount Othrys
Greece Rodopos peninsula, Crete
Greece Kato Olympos, Tempi gorge and mount Ossa
Greece Filiouri valley and eastern Rodopi mountains
Greece Mount Kerketio (Koziakas)
Greece Lake Kourna, Almyros delta and Georgioupolis coast, Crete
Greece Mount Olympos
Greece Tzena and Pinovo mountains
Greece National Park of Dadia - Lefkimi - Soufli forest
Greece Dadia - Dereio - Aisymi forest
Russia (European) Bazarduyzi and Shalbuzdag alpine mountains
Russia (European) Alagirskoye i Kurtatinskoye ravines (Severo-Osetinski (North Osetin) Nature Reserve)
Russia (European) Teberdinski Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Caucasus Biosphere Reserve
Russia (European) Lower Urushten river
Russia (European) Valley of Urup river
Russia (European) Kurdzhips river valley
Spain Cazorla and Segura mountain ranges
Spain Montsech and Montgai mountains
Spain Cadí mountains
Spain Boumort mountains
Spain Sant Gervás mountains
Spain Turbón-Espés-Sis
Spain Oturia-Canciás
Spain Guara mountain range
Spain Santo Domingo-Riglos-Gratal
Spain San Juan de la Peña-Oroel crag
Spain Leyre, Illón and San Miguel mountain ranges
Spain Alt Pallars
Spain San Mauricio-Bohí-Beret
Spain Posets-Maladeta
Spain Gistaín-Cotiella
Spain Ordesa-Bielsa
Spain Panticosa-Vignemale-Tendeñera
Spain Collarada-Telera
Spain Belagua-Ansó-Hecho
Spain Dos Ríos and Orba mountain ranges
Spain Picos de Europa mountain range
Spain Izaga crag
Spain Areta, Archuba and Zariquieta mountain ranges
Spain Gorramendi mountain and Itxusi crags
Spain Roncesvalles-Irati-Abodi mountain range
France Haute Soule : Forêt des Arbailles
France Haute Soule : Forêt d'Irraty, Organbidexka et Pic des Escaliers
France Hautes Vallées d'Aspe et d'Ossau
France Eth Turoun des Aureys
France Pènes du Moulle de Jaut
France Parc National des Ecrins
France Haute Soule : Massif Forestier, Gorges d'Holzarte et d'Olhadubi
France Rive Gauche de la Vallée d'Aspe et Pic d'Anie
France Haute Soule : massif de la Pierre-St-Martin.
France Pic de l'Estibet et Mondragon
France Haute Cize : Pic d'Errozate et Forêt d'Orion
France Forêts domaniales de Corse
France Vallée d'Asco
France Vallée de la Restonica
France Vallée du Verghello
France Massif du Canigou-Carança
France Puig Carlit et environs
France Vallées du Lis et de la Pique
France Cirque de Gavarnie
France Vallée de Melles, cols d'Aoueran et d'Artisagou et Mont Vallier
France Zones rupestres du Tarasconnais et massif d'Aston
France Parc National du Mercantour
France Parc National de la Vanoise
France Haut Giffre
France Vallée du Régino
Italy Maritime Alps
Italy Gran Paradiso
Italy Stelvio National Park
Italy Dolomites
Italy Adamello-Brenta
Italy Antigorio and Formazza valleys
Georgia Eastern Caucasus
Georgia Iori Region
Georgia Meskheti
Serbia Sara mountain
Armenia Khosrov Reserve
Turkey Köroğlu Mountains
Turkey Bolkar Mountains
Afghanistan Khost
Afghanistan Salang Kotal
Afghanistan Pech and Waygal valleys
Afghanistan Bande Amir
Israel Judean desert
Iraq Amedi and Sulav
Iraq Bakhma, Dukan and Darbandikhan dams
Iran, Islamic Republic of Alborz-e Markazi Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lar River Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kavir region
Iran, Islamic Republic of Golestan
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arasbaran Protected Area
Jordan Wadi Mujib
Jordan Dana
Jordan Hisma Basin - Rum
Jordan Aqaba coast and mountains
Palestine Jerusalem wilderness
Saudi Arabia Taif escarpment
Saudi Arabia Shallal ad-Dahna
Saudi Arabia Jabal al-Lawz
Yemen Haraz mountains
Yemen Jabal Sumarah
Yemen Wadi al-Birayn
Yemen Kawkaban - Shibam
Yemen Mahwit
Russia (European) Sources of Kuna and Shisha rivers
Russia (European) Kebyaktepe ridge
Russia (European) Kasumkentski reserve
Russia (European) Orota depression
Russia (European) Valley of Khasaut river, mountains B.Bermamyt and M.Bermamyt
Russia (European) Valley of Khodz' river
Russia (European) Akhmet-Skala ridge
Russia (European) Kabardino-Balkarski Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Talginskaya Valley
Russia (European) Bolchoi Tkhach mountain
Russia (European) Right coast of Malaya Laba River
Russia (European) Alaniya National Park
Russia (European) Outskirts of Kislovodsk
Armenia Gorayk
Armenia Jermook
Armenia Meghri
Armenia Noravank
Armenia Zangezoor
Russia (Central Asian) Talduair mountain
Russia (Central Asian) Kurkure mountain
Russia (Central Asian) Plateau Ukok
Russia (Central Asian) Dzhulukul' depression
Afghanistan Big Pamir
Afghanistan Small Pamir
Afghanistan Safed Koh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lashgarak and Latian dam
Iran, Islamic Republic of Parvar Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khosh-Yeilagh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Sarani
Iran, Islamic Republic of Tandoureh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Western Zagros north of Nowsud
Iran, Islamic Republic of Oshtrankuh Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bamou National Park
Iran, Islamic Republic of Khabr-va-Rouchoon Wildlife Refuge
Iran, Islamic Republic of Geno
Yemen Jabal al-Nabi Shu'ayb
Kazakhstan Upper Charyn
Turkmenistan Koytendag
Turkmenistan Sumbar
Turkmenistan Dushakerekdag
Turkmenistan Kurtusuv - Khovudan
Austria Hohe Tauern National Park
Kazakhstan Almaty State Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Kosobo-Kelebski reserve
Russia (European) Baksanskoye ravine
Russia (European) Verkhnechegemskaya depression
Russia (European) Chegemskoye ravine
Russia (European) Khulamskoye ravine
Russia (European) Sources of Kuma river
Russia (European) Ravine of Eshkakon river
Russia (European) Marinskaya cuesta of Skalisti ridge
Russia (European) Digoriya rocks
Russia (European) Ravine of Gundelen-Tyzyl river
Russia (European) Sources of Khudes river
Turkmenistan Tejen
Turkmenistan Uly Balkan
Russia (European) Kezenoi-Am lake
Russia (European) Tlyaratinski reserve
Russia (European) Gunibskoye plateau
Russia (European) Priel'brus'ye National Park
Russia (European) Targimskaya intermountain
Russia (European) Shanskoye ravine
Russia (European) Valley of Gizel'don river
Kazakhstan Kenshektau Mountains
Turkey Tanin Tanin Mountains
Turkey Şemdinli Valley
Turkey Buzul and İkiyaka Mountains
Turkey Zap Suyu Valley
Turkey Munzur Mountains
Turkey Bolkar mountain
Turkey Bey Mountains
Turkey Ağrı Mount
Turkey Yalnızçam Mountains
Turkey Eastern Black Sea Mountains
Turkey Sündiken Mountains
Kyrgyzstan Son-Kul Lake
Kyrgyzstan Lake Chatyr-Kul
Kyrgyzstan Gorge Tash-Rabat
Kyrgyzstan Eastern Alai
Kyrgyzstan Western Alai, Kok-Suu river
Kazakhstan Aksu-Dzhabagly State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Chokpak Pass
Kazakhstan Big Almaty Gorge
Kazakhstan Assy Plateau
Kazakhstan Altyn-Emel National Park
Armenia Dsegh
Kenya Lolldaiga-Mugogodo-Ewaso N'yiro
Greece Douskon and Kasidiaris mountains, Delvinaki lakes and Gormou valley
Greece Agrafa mountains
Greece Gramvousa peninsula and Gramvouses and Pontikonisi islets, Crete
Greece Mount Zakrou, Crete
Turkmenistan Badhyz

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable resident
Grassland Temperate suitable resident
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Altitude 1000 - 7500 m Occasional altitudinal limits (min) 600 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Canis familiaris Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Other options Other threat Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Reduced reproductive success
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Medicine - human & veterinary - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Gypaetus barbatus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/07/2022.