White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis


Taxonomic source(s)
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
A2abce+4abce A2abce+4abce A2abce+4abce; C2a(ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Critically Endangered A2abce+4abce
2017 Critically Endangered A2bce+4bce
2016 Critically Endangered A2bce+4bce
2015 Critically Endangered A2bce+4bce
2014 Critically Endangered A2bce+4bce
2013 Critically Endangered A2bce+4bce
2012 Critically Endangered A2bce+4bce
2010 Critically Endangered A2b,c,e; A4b,c,e
2009 Critically Endangered A2b,c,e; A4b,c,e
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status nomadic Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass 4385 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 7,370,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 4000-6000 poor estimated 2021
Population trend Decreasing good estimated -
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) 99 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.3 - - -

Population justification: Formerly described as possibly the most abundant large bird of prey in the world, with a global population almost certainly numbering several million individuals, this species suffered dramatic population declines during the 1990s across its range. There are now an estimated c.6,000 individuals in India (Prakash et al. 2019), <2,000 individuals in Nepal (DNPWC 2015), c.100 individuals in Cambodia (Sum and Loveridge 2016), c.260 individuals in Bangladesh (MoEF 2016) and 250-350 individuals in Bhutan and Pakistan (Botha et al. 2017). The total population is therefore estimated to be c. 6,000-9,000 individuals, equating to 4,000-6,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The species declined in South-East Asia during the 20th century, apparently as a result of the collapse of large ungulate populations owing to over-harvesting by human hunters. Declines in the major part of the population throughout the Indian Subcontinent due to poisoning by the veterinary drug Diclofenac probably began in the 1990s and were very rapid, resulting in an overall population decline of greater than 99% over three generations (33.9 years [Bird et al. 2019]) (Prakash et al. 2007). More recent surveys in India suggest that this decline stopped in c.2010, and has been stable or possibly increasing slowly since then (Prakash et al. 2019). The species also declined dramatically in Pakistan, from being abundant in the 1990s to extinction in most of the country (Botha et al. 2017), although recent surveys suggest numbers may now be slowly increasing (Murn et al. 2014). Road transect surveys in Nepal during 2002-2011 revealed population declines of 14% per year (Chaudhary et al. 2012), equating to a decline of 99% over three generations, although there has since been a partial recovery (Galligan et al. 2020; Prakash et al. 2012). There was a c.60% population decline in Bangladesh during 2008-2012 (Khan 2013), equating to a decline of >99% over three generations. The population in Cambodia, which until recently had remained remained relatively stable (with a steady increase during 2004-2010), declined from 201 to 109 individuals during 2010-2016 (Loveridge et al. 2019), equating to a decline of 97% over three generations. Despite some signs of stabilisation or reversal of population declines in some areas in recent years, the global population is still estimated to have declined at a rate of c.99% over the last three generations. 

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Possibly Extinct Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Brunei V Extant Yes
Cambodia N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extinct Yes
India N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Possibly Extinct Yes
Laos N Possibly Extinct Yes
Malaysia N Extinct Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Russia V Extant Yes
Russia (European) V Extant Yes
Thailand N Possibly Extinct Yes
Vietnam N Possibly Extinct Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bahu Kalat (Gandu) Protected Area
Vietnam Ya Lop
Bhutan Royal Manas National Park
China (mainland) Xishuangbanna
Myanmar Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and surroundings
Myanmar Hukaung Valley
Myanmar Kamaing
Myanmar Upper Mogaung Chaung basin
Myanmar Ninety-six Inns
Myanmar Myitkyina-Nandebad-Talawagyi
Myanmar Ayeyarwady River: Shwegu Section
Myanmar Htamanthi
Myanmar Uyu River
Myanmar Inle Lake
Myanmar Zeihmu Range
Myanmar Nam San Valley
Thailand Mae Fang
Thailand Huai Kha Khaeng
Vietnam Chu M'lanh
Nepal Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park
Nepal Tamur valley and watershed
Pakistan Indus Waterfowl Refuge
Pakistan Ucchali Wetland Complex
Pakistan Salkala Wildlife Sanctuary
Laos Attapu Plain
Laos Xe Khampho / Xe Pian
Cambodia Chhep
Laos Dong Khanthung
Laos Xe Kong Plains
Cambodia Western Siem Pang
Cambodia Sekong River
Cambodia Sesan River
Cambodia Mekong River from Kratie to Lao PDR
Cambodia Lomphat
Cambodia Upper Srepok Catchment
Laos Siphandon
Cambodia Mondulkiri - Kratie Lowlands
Myanmar Bwe Pa
Vietnam Yok Don
India Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and Godavari estuary
India Horsley Hills
India Rajiv Ghandi Wildlife Sanctuary (Nagarjunasagar - Srisailam Tiger Reserve)
India Pulicat Lake
India Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
India Dibang Reserve Forest and adjacent areas
India Amchang Hills
India Bauwwa Beel
India Bherjan-Borajan-Podumoni Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bordoibam-Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary
India Bordoloni - Sampora
India Chakrashila Complex
India Dhansiri Reserve Forest
India Dibru - Saikhowa Complex
India Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary
India Dum Duma, Dangori and Kumsong Reserve Forests
India East and North Karbi Anglong Wildlife Sanctuaries
India Gibbon (Hollongapar) Sanctuary
India Innerline, Katakal and Barak Reserve Forests
India Jamjing and Sengajan
India Jhanjimukh - Kokilamukh
India Kuarbari Dalani
India Laokhowa and Burhachapori Sanctuaries
India Lumding - Marat Longri
India Majuli
India Manas National Park
India Orang National Park
India Pabho Reserve Forest
India Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary
India Pani-Dihing Bird Sanctuary
India Ripu and Chirang Reserve Forests
India Sibsagar Tanks
India Son Beel
India Subansiri
India Tamaranga - Dalani - Bhairab Complex
India Tirap - Burhidihing
India Upper Dihing (East) Complex
India Upper Dihing (West) Complex
India Urpod Beel
India Mokama Taal (Barah) Wetlands
India Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
India Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary
India Gomarda Wildlife Sanctuary
India Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve
India Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuaries
India Okhla Bird Sanctuary
India Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
India Banni Grassland and Chhari Dhand
India Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
India Rampura Grassland
India Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
India Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary
India Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
India Dhauludhar Wildlife Sanctuary and McLeod Gunj
India Gobind Sagar and Naina Devi Wildlife Sanctuaries
India Majathal Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sarah Valley, Lower Dharamshala
India Basai wetlands
India Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary
India Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sultanpur National Park
India Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary and North Karanpur Valley
India Palamau Tiger Reserve
India Udhuwa Lake Bird Sanctuary
India Dachigam National Park
India Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bandipur National Park
India Bannerghatta National Park
India Bhimgad Forests
India Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary and Hills
India Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
India Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
India Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
India Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
India Jogimatti Reserve Forest
India Kemmangundi and Bababudan Hills
India Kokkare Bellur
India Krishnarajasagar Reservoir
India Kunthur - Kallur Lakes
India Lingambudhi Lake and environs
India Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
India Nagarhole National Park
India Nandi Hills
India Narasambudhi Lake
India Ramanagara Reserve Forest
India Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary
India Rangananthittu Bird Sanctuary
India Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
India Amarambalam Reserved Forest - Nilambur
India Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Wynaad Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Gangapur Dam and grasslands
India Jaikwadi Wildlife Sanctuary
India Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
India Mahul - Sewree Creek
India Melghat Tiger Reserve
India Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
India Nandur Madhmeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Navegaon National Park
India Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sanjay Gandhi National Park
India Tadoba National Park and Andhari Tiger Reserve
India Taloda Reserve Forest
India Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary
India Toranmal Reserve Forest
India Balpakram Complex
India Nokrek National Park
India Nongkhyllem and adjacent areas
India Bandhavgarh National Park
India Bori Wildlife Sanctuary
India Dihaila Jheel and other wetlands
India Halali Reservoir
India Kanha National Park
India Madhav National Park
India Panna National Park
India Pench Tiger Reserve
India Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sailana Kharmor Sanctuary
India Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
India Chandaka - Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary
India Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary
India Simlipal National Park
India Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary
India Harike Lake Bird Sanctuary
India Bardha Dam
India Desert National Park
India Diyatra Closed Area
India Jaisamand Lake and Wildlife Sanctuary
India Keoladeo National Park and Ajan Bande
India Khichan
India Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
India National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Bundi/Kota)
India Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary
India Ramsagar Lake
India Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve
India Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sambhar Lake
India Sareri Bandh
India Sariska Tiger Reserve
India Sei Dam reservoir and surrounding environs
India Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sonkhaliya Closed Area
India Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bagdarrah Closed Area
India Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary - Himalayan Zoological Park - Ratey Chu Reserve Forest
India Lowland forests of South Sikkim (Melli-Baguwa-Kitam, Jorethang-Namchi, Sombarey)
India Mudumalai National Park
India Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary
India Dudhwa National Park
India Narora
India Patna Bird Sanctuary
India Asan Barrage
India Corbett Tiger Reserve
India Rajaji National Park
India Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary
India Buxa Tiger Reserve (National Park)
India Farakka Barrage and adjoining area
India Gorumara National Park
India Kulik (Raiganj) Bird Sanctuary
India Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
India Naya Bandh Wetland Complex
Nepal Nawalparasi forests
Nepal Rampur valley
Bangladesh Jamuna-Brahmaputra river
Bangladesh Lawachara / West Bhanugach Reserved Forest
India The Chapories of Lohit Reserve
India Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
India Charakla Saltworks
India Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary
India Kawar (Kabar) Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
India Kaziranga National Park
Iran, Islamic Republic of Rud-i-Shur, Rud-i-Shirin and Rud-i-Minab deltas
Laos Xe Khampho
Laos Xe Pian
Vietnam Yok Don NP
Nepal Jagdishpur Reservoir
Nepal Phulchoki Mountain forests
Nepal Annapurna Conservation Area
Nepal Barandabhar forests and wetlands
Nepal Bardia National Park
Nepal Chitwan National Park
Nepal Dang Deukhuri foothill forests and west Rapti wetlands
Nepal Dharan forests
Nepal Farmlands in Lumbini area
Nepal Ghodaghodi Lake
Nepal Khaptad National Park
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage
Nepal Mai Valley forests
Nepal Parsa Wildlife Reserve
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
India Bhashkarpara
Myanmar Hukaung Valley extension
Myanmar Lwoilin/Ginga Mountain
India Sareswar Beel
Afghanistan Pech and Waygal valleys
India Guru Ghasidas Tiger Reserve
India Dighal wetland
India Marat Longri Wildlife Sanctuary
India Maguri and Motapung Beels
India Manas Reserve Forest
India Innerline (West) and Katakhal Reserve Forests
India Krungming Reserve Forest, Khorongma & Kopili-Umrangsu Reservoirs
India Dadara-Pasariya-Singimari
India Chirang Reserve Forest
India Ripu Reserve Forest
India Vijay Sagar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Simbalbara National Park
India Menar Lake
India Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
India Jor Beer
India Mahaveer Swami Wildlife Sanctuary (Lalitpur)
India Jawahar Sagar Sanctuary
India Jawai Dam Leopard Conservation Reserve
India Badopal Lake
India Pench Tiger Reserve
India Amangarh Reserve Forest
India Karnala Bird Sanctuary
India Mahendri Reserve Forest
India Hatnur Dam
India Innerline (East) and Barak Reserve Forests
India Nikol-Samadhiyala-Malan Wetlands Complex
India Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve
India Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
India Nandhour Wildlife Sanctuary
India Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
India North Karanpura Valley
India Tilaiya Dam
India Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary and Maniyari Reservoir
India Keshopur Miani (or Chhamb) Community Reserve
India Amboli-Tilari Reserve Forest
India Chandoli National Park
India Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
India Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary
India Lumding Reserve Forest

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Seasonally Wet/Flooded suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Moist suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 1500 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 3000 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
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 - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality, Other
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Energy production & mining Renewable energy Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Plasmodium relictum Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Other ecosystem modifications Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Other options Other threat Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 8
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Gyps bengalensis. Downloaded from on 27/06/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/06/2022.