IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Biology

White-backed vultures are highly social and are found in flocks all year round, often with other species, such as the Indian vulture (Gyps indicus). Groups roost communally at traditional sites (5). Nesting also occurs in groups at traditional sites, nests are situated 2 to 18 metres high and there may be as many as 15 in a single tree (5). The majority of breeding occurs between November and January, females lay a single egg that is then incubated for almost two months. After hatching the chicks remain in the nest for two to three months (5) and their parents feed them by regurgitating food (4). Vultures feed on carrion, scavenging for carcasses at rubbish dumps, slaughterhouses and in fields (5). They are voracious feeders; a flock of different vulture species has been reported to eat a fresh bullock carcass in just 40 minutes (5). In the Bombay Parsi community, the dead are placed on the 'Towers of Silence' on Malabar Hill for the vultures to dispose of (5).

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Source: ARKive

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