A close up of hooded-vulture sitting

Hooded Vulture

Necrosyrtes monachus
Conservation Status IUCN
Critically endangered

For more info on classifications visit

endangered list labels critically endangered
endangered list critically endangered sign
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    Animal Class
    Aves, Accipitriformes

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    Can be found in many habitats across their range, such as, Savannah, Desert, Forest edge, Shrublands, Wetland and Grassland.
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    Carnivores that will primarily scavenge on carrion.
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    Conservation Status
    Critically endangered – facing rapid deline in its range.
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    Approximetley 131,000 mature individuals.
  • Introduction

    The Hooded vulture is a small vulture with mostly dark brown body plumage. They have a long thin powerful beak that is hooked at the end. Their head and neck is pale pink in colour and bare, consisting of minimal feathers. This allows them to reach into a carcass, to access soft tissue, without damaging any important feathers.

    Hooded vultures will soar higher than most other vulture species and often spot food first with their incredible eyesight, which can see the Ultraviolet range.

    Size: Hooded vultures are the smallest of the Old-World Vultures with a wingspan of approximately 1.6 meters, a body length up to 70cm and weighing up to 2.5kg.

  • Threats/ Conservation

    Critically endangered

    Once considered one of the most abundant vultures in Africa studies have shown that the Hooded vulture’s population is facing rapid decline.

    Hunting, persecution, indiscriminate poisoning, trade for traditional medicine, as well as habitat loss and degradation are all contributing to the decline.

    The IUCN states there are approximately 131,000 mature individuals in their range.*

    *IUCN, 2021

    Emerald Park conservation contribution:

    Hooded vultures are part of the EAZA Ex-situ Programme (EEP). This which means that their population is managed to ensure that there are heathy populations of animals within EAZA member zoos and for reintroduction in the future.

  • Habitat

    Hooded vultures are widespread throughout Africa, south of the Sahara Desert where they are mainly sedentary. Young birds will disperse, and some individuals will move to where it has rained.

    They can be found in many habitats such as open plains, savannah, forests, coastal areas and close to villages and towns.

  • Fun Facts

    The Hooded vulture scavenges on carrion and their specialised digestive system will allow them to eat older carcasses with no issues.

    Their ability to eat rotting meat means they carry out an Important role cleaning up the environment and preventing the growth of pests and disease.