White Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

Conservation Status

Endangered (EN)

Physical Description

Large size, heavy, hooked bills, necks wholly or particularly devoid of feathers; the white lower back contrasts with the darker wings
Weight 4.2 - 7.2 kg
Size 78 - 98 cm
Lifespan (wild)
Lifespan (captivity) max. 20 years


Social; Gregarious feeding habits; very good eyesight to find fresh kills, once found it wheels in the sky to signal to other vultures; Carrier of Anthrax disease, but not effected by it.

Social and Reproduction

It often moves in flocks

Mating System Monogamy
Breeding interval breed once a year during the dry season.
Breeding season
Gestation 56 - 58 days
Number of offspring Laying one egg, occasionally two

Habitat and Food


Open savanna; dry woodland and bushveld


Rarely attack healthy animals, but may kill the wounded or sick; obligate scavenger; feeding mostly from carcasses of animals


May fall pray to eagles; nestlings may be preyed by larger snakes/reptiles

Conservation Challenges

Habitat loss and poisoning; killed by people is some cultures as it is believed to have many medicinal properties.

Naankuse Solutions

EDUCATION!! Rehabilitation; Reintroduction


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White Backed Vulture at Naankuse sites