White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus


Allan, D. G. 2015. White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus. In: Taylor, M. R.; Peacock, D.; Wanless, R. M. (ed.), The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, pp. 61-66. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Anon. 2013. Birdlife Botswana launches campaign following poisoning of 1000 vultures. Available at: (Accessed: 24/09/2015).

Bamford, A.J.; Monadjem, A.; Hardy, I.C.W. 2009. Nesting habitat preference of the African White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus and the effects of anthopogenic disturbance. Ibis 151(1): 51-62.

Bird, J.P., Martin, R., Akçakaya, H.R., Gilroy, J., Burfield, I.J., Garnett, S.G., Symes, A., Taylor, J., ?ekercio?lu, Ç.H. and Butchart, S.H.M. 2020. Generation lengths of the world’s birds and their implications for extinction risk. Conservation Biology 34(5): 1252-1261. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.13486.

BirdGuides. 2019. Catastrophic vulture poisoning in Botswana 'one of biggest ever'. Available at:

BirdLife Botswana. 2008. The Status of Globally and Nationally Threatened Birds in Botswana.

BirdLife International. 2008. Drugs firms told to do more to prevent vulture extinctions. Available at: #

Botha, A.J.; Andevski, J.; Bowden, C.G.R.; Gudka, M.; Safford, R.J.; Tavares, J.; Williams, N. P. 2017. Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures. MS Raptors MOU Technical Publication No. 5. CMS Technical Series No. xx. Coordinating Unit of the CMS Raptors MOU, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Available at:

Brown, C.J.; Simmons, R.E. 2015. White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus. In: Simmons, R.E.; Brown, C.J.; Kemper, J. (ed.), Birds to watch in Namibia: Red, rare and endemic species, pp. 102-105. Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Namibia Nature Foundation.

Buij, R.; Nikolaus, G.; Whytock, R.; Ingram, D.J.; Ogada, D. 2016. Trade of threatened vultures and other raptors for fetish and bushmeat in West and Central Africa. Oryx 50(4): 606-616.

Craig, C. A., Thomson, R. L. and Santangeli, A. 2018. Communal farmers of Namibia appreciate vultures and the ecosystem services they provide. Ostrich 89(3): 211-220.

de Swardt, D.H. 2013. White-backed Vultures nesting on electricity pylons in the Boshof area, Free State, South Africa. Vulture News 65: 48.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. and Dowsett, R.J. 2014. The Birds of Ghana: An Atlas and Handbook. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Garbett, R.; Maude, G.; Hancock, P.; Kenny, D.; Reading, R.; Amar, A. 2018. Association between hunting and elevated blood lead levels in the critically endangered African white-backed vulture Gyps africanus. Science of the Total Environment 630: 1654-1665.

Global Raptor Information Network. 2015. Species account: White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus . Available at: (Accessed: 5 Jul 2021).

Groom, R.J.; Gandiwa, E.; van der Westhuizen, H.J. 2013. A mass poisoning of White-backed and Lappet-faced Vultures in Gonarezhou National Park. Honeyguide 59(1): 5-9.

IUCN. 2021. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2021-3. Available at: (Accessed: 09 December 2021).

Kendall, C. J., Rubenstein, D. I., Slater, P. L. and Monadjem, A. 2017. An assessment of tree availability as a possible cause of population declines in scavenging raptors. Journal of Avian Biology 48: 1-8.

Kendall, C.; Virani, M. 2012. Assessing mortality of african vultures using wing tags and GSM-GPS transmitters. Journal of Raptor Research.

McKean, S.; Botha, A. 2007. Traditional medicine demand threatens vultures in Southern Africa.

McKean, S.; Mander, M.; Diederichs, N.; Ntuli, L.; Mavundla, K.; Williams, V.; Wakelin, J. 2013. The impact of traditional use on vultures in South Africa. Vulture News 65: 15-36.

Mundy, P.; Butchart, D.; Ledger, J.; Piper, S. 1992. The vultures of Africa. Academic Press, London.

Murn, C., Botha, A. and Wilson, B. 2017. The changing sizes of critically endangered White-backed Vulture breeding colonies around Kimberley, South Africa. African Journal of Wildlife Research 47(2): 144-148.

Murn, C.; Botha, A. 2018. A clear and present danger: Impacts of poisoning on a vulture population and the effect of poison response activities. Oryx 52(3): 552-558.

Naidoo, V.; Wolter, K.; Botha, C.J. 2017. Lead ingestion as a potential contributing factor to the decline in vulture populations in southern Africa. Environmental Research 152: 150-156.

Nikolaus, G. 2006. Commentary: where have the African vultures gone? Vulture News: 65-67.

Ogada, D.; Botha, A.; Shaw, P. 2016. Ivory poachers and poison: Drivers of Africa's declining vulture populations. Oryx 50(4): 593-596.

Ogada, D.; Keesing, F. 2010. Decline of raptors over a three-year period in Laikipia, central Kenya. Journal of Raptor Research 44: 129-135.

Ogada, D.; Shaw, P.; Beyers, R.L.; Buij, R.; Murn, C.; Thiollay, J.M.; Beale, C.M.; Holdo, R.M.; Pomeroy, D.; Baker, N.; Krüger, S.C.; Botha, A.; Virani, M.Z.; Monadjem, A.; Sinclair, A.R.E. 2016. Another continental vulture crisis: Africa’s vultures collapsing toward extinction. Conservation Letters 9: 89-97.

Otieno, P.O.; Lalah, J.O.; Virani, M., Jondiko, I.O.; Schramm, K. 2010. Carbofuran and its toxic metabolites provide forensic evidence for Furadan exposure in vultures (Gyps africanus) in Kenya. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 84: 536-544.

Pomeroy, D., Shaw, P., Opige, M., Kaphu, G., Ogada, D. L. and Virani, M. Z. 2015. Vulture populations in Uganda: using road survey data to measure both densities and encounter rates within protected and unprotected areas. Bird Conservation International 25: 399-414.

Pomeroy, D.; Kaphub, G.; Nalwangac, D.; Ssemmandad, R.; Lotukb, B.; Opetob, A.; Matsikob, M. 2012. Counting vultures at provisioned carcasses in Uganda. Vulture News 62: 25-32.

Roxburgh, L.; McDougall, R. 2012. Vulture poisoning incidents and the status of vultures in Zambia and Malawi. Vulture News 62: 33-39.

Shema, S. 2019. Current status of diurnal breeding raptors in the greater Athi-Kaputiei Ecosystem, southern Kenya: an assessment of abundance, distribution and key areas in need of conservation. Scopus 39(1): 44-59.

SSC. 2018. The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Quarterly Report. March 2018.

Thiollay, J.-M. 2006. Severe declines of large birds in the northern Sahel of West Africa: a long-term assessment. Bird Conservation International 16(4): 353-365.

Thorley, J. B. & Clutton-Brock, T. 2017. Kalahari vulture declines, through the eyes of meerkats. Ostrich 88(2): 177-181.

Virani, M.; Kendall, C.; Njoroge, P.; Thomsett, S. 2011. Major declines in the abundance of vultures and other scavenging raptors in and around the Masai Mara ecosystem, Kenya. Biological Conservation 144: 746-752.

WCS. 2016. Nationally Threatened Species for Uganda.

Western, D.; Russell, S.; Cuthill, I. 2009. The Status of Wildlife in Protected Areas Compared to Non-Protected Areas of Kenya. PLoS One 4(7): e6140.

Woodford, M. H., Bowden, C. G. R. & Shah, N. 2008. Diclofenac in Asia and Africa – repeating the same mistake? Harmonisation and improvement of registration and quality control of Veterinary Medicinal Products in Africa. OIE World Organisation for Animal Health, Paris.

Woodford, M.H.; Bowden, C.G.R.; Shah, N. 2008. Diclofenac in Asia and Africa – repeating the same mistake? Harmonisation and improvement of registration and quality control of Veterinary Medicinal Products in Africa - OIE World Organisation for Animal Health.

Further resources

IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Macaulay Library

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Media resources

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Gyps africanus. Downloaded from on 18/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 18/08/2022.