Long-billed Vulture

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Long-billed Vulture
Conservation status: Critical
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Gyps
Species:G. indicus
Binomial name
Gyps indicus
(Scopoli, 1786)

The Long-billed Vulture, Gyps indicus, is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. It is closely related to the European Griffon Vulture, G. fulvus.

It breeds on crags or in trees in mountains in India and South-east Asia, laying one egg. Birds may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident.

Like other vultures it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over savannah and around human habitation. It often moves in flocks.

The Long-billed Vulture is a typical vulture, with a bald head, very broad wings and short tail. It is smaller and less heavily-built than European Griffon. It is distinguished from that species by its less buff body and wing coverts It also lacks the whitish median covert bar shown by Griffon.

This vulture and the Indian White-rumped Vulture, G. bengalensis, have suffered a 99% decrease in India due poisoning by the veterinary drug Diclofenac that causes kidney failure in birds eating the carcasses of treated cattle. [1] (http://news.independent.co.uk/world/asia/story.jsp?story=640631).

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