Martina kwenda


What do you know about vultures and can you name a few. ? The most common of all Vulture is the African-Backed Vulture! KoBasically the first thing you should know about vulture is that they’re the cleaners of our environment. Vultures play a crucial role in maintaining healthy ecosystems as nature’s clean-up crew, feeding on carrion and disposing of dead and decaying animals.

California Condor

There are about 23 species of vultures! 16 Old World Vulture native to Europe, Africa, and Asia, and 7 New World vultures native to the Americas. They’re found on every continent except Antarctica.

All vultures àre scavengers meaning they don’t hunt or kill prey instead they fly high looking for carrion ( dead carcasses)Many vulture species are endangered or have declining populations due to human activities of course. Issues ranging from habitat destruction, poisoning, and hunting. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these vital birds and their role in the ecosystem.

White-backed Vulture

In terms of appearances these creatures are not pretty to look at like song bird. But they have an essential role in maintaining the ecosystem. Most vultures worldwide have bald, featherless faces. This might make them look haggard or ugly, but it’s actually for sanitation. Because vultures stick their heads in and out of dead animals all day, a featherless head is essential for staying clean. Otherwise, blood and gore would get stuck to a vulture’s face.

All vultures also have strong stomach acids, which help them digest rotting meat. In addition, their stomach acid kills off any potentially harmful bacteria in decomposing flesh.

Anyway let’s get to the difference between Old World and New World Vultures. Old World vultures have voice boxes so they can vocalize more than their New World counterparts. New World Vultures don’t have a voice box.New World Vultures ate the only vultures to cool themselves by pooping on their legs. This act is known as urohydrosis.

New World vultures don’t build nests. Instead, they find suitable locations like a hollow log, dense leaf cover, or abandoned buildings to lay their eggs in.But the most significant difference between Old World and New World vultures is that they are not closely genetically related.

This means New World vultures didn’t evolve from Old World vultures or vice versa. Instead, this is a perfect example of convergent evolution.Convergent evolution is a phenomenon in which different species evolve with similar features across space and time. For example, in the case of vultures, they both evolved to fill similar ecological niches, so they evolved similar features as well.

Type’s of Vulture

Old World:

White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis)

White-Headed Vulture

Native to Africa these vulture stands over 2 feet long and have a wingspan upwards of 6 feet. these vultures have bald, pale white heads with orangish beaks. They have black and white feathers, the white feathers mostly on their underside. 

Unfortunately, because of pesticide poisoning, white-headed vulture populations have rapidly declined in recent years. Vultures have strong stomach acids but not strong enough to break down pesticide compounds.

White-headed vultures were upped from a “vulnerable” species to a “critically endangered” species in 2015. Some biologists believe that 97% of white-headed vulture populations have been lost in recent decades. They love African Baobab Trees so it’s said wherever you see a baobab tree this bird is there. 

Red Headed Vulture! (Sarcogyps calvus)

Red Headed Vulture

Found throughout the region of the Middle East and Malaysia. Their wingspan is a remarkable atmosphere 8 to 9 feet. As you have suspected, they have bald, red heads. Their scientific name includes the term Calvus, which means “bald.” Their body is coated in black feathers, with a few white patches on the bottom.They, like all vultures, have large wingspans that allow them to ride warm air currents known as thermals.Vultures’ thermal-riding ability allows them to avoid exhausting themselves by constantly beating their wings to stay aloft.

Instead, they can scour the land for carrion while saving energy. So, contrary to popular perception, circling vultures do not necessarily indicate the presence of a freshly killed animal. They are endangered because of diclofenac use. Diclofenac is given to sick animals by farmers, so when they die, their flesh is contaminated with the drug, and the drug is lethal when injected by red heads. In the 2000s, the Red Headed Vulture population had declined by 90%.

New World Vultures :

California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus)

California Condor

It’s native to the western United States. They are massive birds weighing up to 30 lbs (13.6 kg) with a wingspan of over 10 feet (3 m). They have black feathers, white underwings, and yellowish heads.

California condors previously had a prehistoric range that extended into the eastern United States. Condor populations began to dwindle once European people arrived in the Americas. Lead poisoning decimated condor populations because condors would absorb lead bullets from animals killed with rifles.

California condors were incredibly close to becoming extinct in the latter half of the 20th century. In fact, they were completely extinct in the wild. However, captive breeding initiatives began with hopes of reintroducing them into the wild.The programs were major successes. For example, in 1987, only 27 condors remained in the world. By 2022, condor populations have risen to over 500 individuals and are continuing to grow.

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa )

Kings Vulture

Their native to central and South America They are primarily white with black wings and multicolored heads. King vultures are the largest New World vultures aside from both condor species.The king vulture gets its name because other birds make way for the king vulture at feeding sites. In other words, king vultures are treated like royalty in the bird world.

They lack a keen sense of smell and must rely on other vultures to seek food. They are not social birds, however they will tolerate the presence of other vultures at feeding grounds. They are also known to form tiny family groups with whom they can roost or travel.In the wild, king vultures can live for 40 years or more. Females achieve adulthood around the age of five, whereas males develop at roughly seven. They are monogamous and will spend their entire lives with their lover.King vultures are not considered threatened. However, numbers have dropped in recent years due to deforestation and habitat loss

.You can read more type of vultures here

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