Vultur gryphus occurs throughout the Andes, in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay south to Argentina and Chile3. It is threatened mostly in the north of its range, and is exceedingly rare in Venezuela and Colombia, where a re-introduction programme using captive-bred individuals is in operation2,3. A similar project is underway in Argentina1. Since 2000, declines have continued in Ecuador (c.65 birds in five disjunct populations remain6), Peru and Bolivia, but it remains numerous and appears to be stable in northern Argentina9. Populations in Venezuela (<30 individuals5) and Colombia may be maintained by reintroduction and feeding, but in Colombia at least the population may still be declining. The status of remaining populations is difficult to determine because its mortality, breeding frequency and success are so poorly known3.