The South African Bird Ringing Unit

Ringing birds around Africa!


Longevity of the Cape Vulture

Dane Paijmans(2016-01-12)

This week we will be taking a look at the longevity of the Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres). With an estimated global population of only 9400 mature individuals (estimated in 2013 and decreasing rapidly) [ref] this species is already of great concern. The major factors in this decline are similar to that of the White-backed Vulture; reduced food availability (carrion), hunting for trade (muti), persecution, powerline collisions and poisoning. Extensive work is being done to stop this decline by establishing/maintaining vulture restaurants and reducing powerline deaths.

Our longevity record was first ringed as a juvenile and then retrapped alive when it was fitted with a new yellow wing tag (C175) (Click Here to view details of the Limpopo colour tagging project). This means it may be an easy resighting if you happen to be in its range and have a camera handy. Please submit all colour ring/tag sightings (with photos) to us by Clicking Here. If you feel you know of an older record please contact us at SAFRING with the details.
This amazing image included with this article is accredited to JC van Rensburg and was linked from BirdPix.
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  Taxonomy   Maximum Longevity
  Order: Accipitriformes
       Family:  Accipitridae
             Genus: Gyps
  21 years (Roberts 7)
  31.22 years (SAFRING)
  Species   Ring Number
  Gyps coprotheres G13690
  Common name   Sample size
 Cape Vulture   Ringed: 8172  Retrapped: 684
  Recovered: 651  Total: 9507

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