Cinereous Vulture ishuge, One of largest Old World vultures. Broad winged vulture, wedge shaped tail, all dark sooty to black. Bare skin of head and neck bluish grey, head covered with blackish down, neck ruff paler in older birds. Immature somewhat blacker, and top of head covered with black down, juvenile has bare skin pink.

It inhabits forested areas in hills and mountains at 300-1400 m in Spain, but higher in Asia, where it also occupies scrub and arid and semi-arid alpine meadows and grasslands up to 4500m5. Also subalpine forests of Pinus spp., up to 2,000 m. Birds forage over forested areas, but also in many types of open terrain from steppe to upland grasslands. Nests are built in trees or on rocks (the latter extremely rarely in Europe but more frequently in parts of Asia), often aggregated in very loose colonies or nuclei. Its diet consists mainly of carrion from medium-sized or large mammal carcasses, although snakes and insects have been recorded as food items. Live prey is rarely taken.

The Black Vulture Aegypius monachus formerly known as the Black Vulture is classified as Near-threatened at world level and Vulnerable at European level. It has a discontinuous distribution in Europe, where it is present in the Caucasus mountains (190 pairs shared among Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan), Greece (20), Spain (1,000), Turkey (100-500) and Ukraine (6). Populations are considered to be increasing in Spain and Greece, stable in Turkey and declining in Ukraine and the Caucasus.
Because of the degradation and destruction of its breeding habitats, direct persecution and poisoning, abandoning of extensive livestock economy and rarefaction of wild ungulate populations, this species has considerably declined all over its breeding area. It may occasionally breed in Portugal, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and Albania. It is now extinct in France. The global range extends from the Iberian peninsula across southern Europe and through the central Asian plateau to Mongolia and China. It has become very uncommon in Greece, but now increase locally as in Spain following conservation measures. In Spain it has definitely increased, however. Its global European population amounts to 900-1000 breeding pairs.

The Cinereous Vulture breeds in loose colonies or solitarily. Age of first breeding is usually 5-6 years. It builds a huge nest on top of a tree where it lays one egg. Laying usually starts at the beginning of February and finishes at the end of April, with the maximum number of clutches between the last week of February and the beginning of March. Incubation is by both adults and lasts 50-54 days. The chick usually spends more than 100 days in the nest and remains with the adults 2-3 months after fledging before moving away. Breeding success is very high (up to 90%) in areas with low human disturbance. The chick is fed with meat regurgitated by the adults. The maximum daily energy requirements of a breeding pair, between the end of June and the beginning of July, are 2,200 g; the yearly needs of a successful pair would be approximately 600 kg.

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