Ruppell's griffon vulture

Ruppell's vulture

Ruppell's vultures, named after a German explorer, are large African vultures. Much of their day is spent soaring in the air on thermal currents, at some surprisingly high altitudes, and using their keen eyesight to spot long forgotten carcasses. They home in on the carcass in flocks and with all the tasty flesh gone, these scavengers will eat what's left over, using their powerful hooked beaks to tear skin and break bones with ease. A decline in the range of these very social birds is partly a result of their being used in black magic.

Scientific name: Gyps rueppellii

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Rueppell's vulture,
  • Ruppell's griffon,
  • Ruppell's griffon vulture

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Map showing the distribution of the Ruppell's vulture taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Ruppell's vulture can be found in a number of locations including: Africa. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Ruppell's vulture distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Tropical grassland Tropical grassland
Tropical grasslands include the savanna usually associated with Africa, and savanna-type grasslands found in India, Australia, Nepal and the Americas. They are characterised by drought-resistant shrubs and grasses, dotted with trees such as acacias or baobabs.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

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