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
A2bce+4bce A2bce+4bce A2bce+4bce; C2a(ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
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 not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass 4385 g
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 7,370,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 2500-9999 poor estimated 2007
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 - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 16 - - -

Population justification: Formerly described as possibly the most abundant large bird of prey in the world, this species global population almost certainly numbered several million individuals. However, following dramatic declines through the 1990s across its range its global population is now estimated to fall within the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 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 probably began in the 1990s and were very rapid, resulting in an overall population decline of greater than 99% over a 10-15 year period.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant 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 Extant Yes
Laos N Possibly Extinct Yes
Malaysia N Extinct Yes
Myanmar N Extant 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
Bangladesh Jamuna-Brahmaputra river
Bangladesh Lawachara / West Bhanugach Reserved Forest
Bhutan Royal Manas National Park
Cambodia Chhep
Cambodia Lomphat
Cambodia Mekong River from Kratie to Lao PDR
Cambodia Mondulkiri - Kratie Lowlands
Cambodia Sekong River
Cambodia Sesan River
Cambodia Upper Srepok Catchment
Cambodia Western Siem Pang
China (mainland) Xishuangbanna
India Amarambalam Reserved Forest - Nilambur
India Amchang Hills
India Asan Barrage
India Bagdarrah Closed Area
India Balpakram Complex
India Bandhavgarh National Park
India Bandipur National Park
India Bannerghatta National Park
India Banni Grassland and Chhari Dhand
India Bardha Dam
India Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary
India Basai wetlands
India Bauwwa Beel
India Bhashkarpara
India Bherjan-Borajan-Podumoni Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bhimgad Forests
India Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary
India Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
India Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary and Hills
India Bordoibam-Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary
India Bordoloni - Sampora
India Bori Wildlife Sanctuary
India Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary
India Buxa Tiger Reserve (National Park)
India Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
India Chail Wildlife Sanctuary
India Chakrashila Complex
India Chandaka - Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary
India Charakla Saltworks
India Corbett Tiger Reserve
India Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and Godavari estuary
India Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
India Dachigam National Park
India Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary
India Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary
India Desert National Park
India Dhansiri Reserve Forest
India Dhauludhar Wildlife Sanctuary and McLeod Gunj
India Dibang Reserve Forest and adjacent areas
India Dibru - Saikhowa Complex
India Dihaila Jheel and other wetlands
India Diyatra Closed Area
India Dudhwa National Park
India Dum Duma, Dangori and Kumsong Reserve Forests
India East and North Karbi Anglong Wildlife Sanctuaries
India Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary - Himalayan Zoological Park - Ratey Chu Reserve Forest
India Farakka Barrage and adjoining area
India Gangapur Dam and grasslands
India Gibbon (Hollongapar) Sanctuary
India Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
India Gobind Sagar and Naina Devi Wildlife Sanctuaries
India Gomarda Wildlife Sanctuary
India Gorumara National Park
India Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
India Halali Reservoir
India Harike Lake Bird Sanctuary
India Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary and North Karanpur Valley
India Horsley Hills
India Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve
India Innerline, Katakal and Barak Reserve Forests
India Jaikwadi Wildlife Sanctuary
India Jaisamand Lake and Wildlife Sanctuary
India Jamjing and Sengajan
India Jhanjimukh - Kokilamukh
India Jogimatti Reserve Forest
India Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Kanha National Park
India Kawar (Kabar) Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
India Kaziranga National Park
India Kemmangundi and Bababudan Hills
India Keoladeo National Park and Ajan Bande
India Khichan
India Kokkare Bellur
India Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
India Krishnarajasagar Reservoir
India Kuarbari Dalani
India Kulik (Raiganj) Bird Sanctuary
India Kunthur - Kallur Lakes
India Laokhowa and Burhachapori Sanctuaries
India Lingambudhi Lake and environs
India Lowland forests of South Sikkim (Melli-Baguwa-Kitam, Jorethang-Namchi, Sombarey)
India Lumding - Marat Longri
India Madhav National Park
India Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
India Mahul - Sewree Creek
India Majathal Wildlife Sanctuary
India Majuli
India Manas National Park
India Melghat Tiger Reserve
India Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
India Mokama Taal (Barah) Wetlands
India Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
India Mudumalai National Park
India Nagarhole National Park
India Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
India Nandi Hills
India Nandur Madhmeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Narasambudhi Lake
India Narora
India National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Bundi/Kota)
India Navegaon National Park
India Naya Bandh Wetland Complex
India Nokrek National Park
India Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary
India Okhla Bird Sanctuary
India Orang National Park
India Pabho Reserve Forest
India Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary
India Palamau Tiger Reserve
India Pani-Dihing Bird Sanctuary
India Panna National Park
India Patna Bird Sanctuary
India Pench Tiger Reserve
India Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary
India Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
India Pulicat Lake
India Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary
India Rajaji National Park
India Rajiv Ghandi Wildlife Sanctuary (Nagarjunasagar - Srisailam Tiger Reserve)
India Ramanagara Reserve Forest
India Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Rampura Grassland
India Ramsagar Lake
India Ranebennur Blackbuck Sanctuary
India Rangananthittu Bird Sanctuary
India Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve
India Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary
India Ripu and Chirang Reserve Forests
India Sailana Kharmor Sanctuary
India Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sambhar Lake
India Sanjay Gandhi National Park
India Sarah Valley, Lower Dharamshala
India Sareri Bandh
India Sariska Tiger Reserve
India Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sei Dam reservoir and surrounding environs
India Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
India Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sibsagar Tanks
India Simlipal National Park
India Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary
India Son Beel
India Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary
India Sonkhaliya Closed Area
India Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
India Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary
India Subansiri
India Sultanpur National Park
India Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary
India Tadoba National Park and Andhari Tiger Reserve
India Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary
India Taloda Reserve Forest
India Tamaranga - Dalani - Bhairab Complex
India Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary
India The Chapories of Lohit Reserve
India Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
India Tirap - Burhidihing
India Toranmal Reserve Forest
India Udanti and Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuaries
India Udhuwa Lake Bird Sanctuary
India Upper Dihing (East) Complex
India Upper Dihing (West) Complex
India Urpod Beel
India Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary
India Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary
India Wynaad Wildlife Sanctuary
Laos Attapu Plain
Laos Dong Khanthung
Laos Siphandon
Laos Xe Khampho / Xe Pian
Laos Xe Kong Plains
Myanmar Ayeyarwady River: Shwegu Section
Myanmar Bwe Pa
Myanmar Htamanthi
Myanmar Hukaung Valley
Myanmar Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and surroundings
Myanmar Inle Lake
Myanmar Kamaing
Myanmar Myitkyina-Nandebad-Talawagyi
Myanmar Nam San Valley
Myanmar Ninety-six Inns
Myanmar Upper Mogaung Chaung basin
Myanmar Uyu River
Myanmar Zeihmu Range
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 Jagdishpur Reservoir
Nepal Khaptad National Park
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage
Nepal Mai Valley forests
Nepal Nawalparasi forests
Nepal Parsa Wildlife Reserve
Nepal Rampur valley
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve
Pakistan Indus Waterfowl Refuge
Pakistan Ucchali Wetland Complex
Thailand Huai Kha Khaeng
Vietnam Chu M'lanh
Vietnam Ya Lop
Vietnam Yok Don

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 - Persecution/control 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%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
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 Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 8
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 (2018) Species factsheet: Gyps bengalensis. Downloaded from on 19/11/2018. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2018) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 19/11/2018.