Red-headed Vulture

Red-headed Vulture

Why in news :

  • A red headed vulture also known as the Asian king vulture is sighted in Dudhwa national park, Uttar Pradesh.

About Red-headed Vulture :

  • The red-headed vulture also known as the Asian king vultureIndian black vulture or Pondicherry vulture is an Old World vulture mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, with small populations in some parts of Southeast Asia.
  • It is a medium-sized vulture of 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 in) in length, weighing 3.5–6.3 kg (7.7–13.9 lb) and having a wingspan of about 1.99–2.6 m (6.5–8.5 ft).
  • It has a prominent naked head: deep-red to orange in the adult, paler red in the juvenile.
  • It has a black body with pale grey band at the base of the flight feathers.
  • The sexes differ in colour of the iris: males have a paler, whitish iris, whilst in females it is dark brown.
  • The red-headed vulture is very similar in appearance to its larger relative the Lappet-faced vulture in Africa and Arabia, even being historically placed in the genus Torgos.

Distribution and Habitat :

  • This gaudy-faced vulture was vulture was historically abundant, range widely across the Indian subcontinent, and also eastwards to south-central and south-eastern Asia, extending from India to Singapore.
  • Today the range of the red-headed vulture is localized primarily to northern India. It is usually in open country and in cultivated and semi-desert areas.
  • It is also found in deciduous forests and foothills and river valleys. It is usually found up to an altitude of 3000m from sea level.

Conservation status :

  • It is listed as critically endangered in IUCN list.

Syllabus : Prelims; Environment