G. africanus; Ferguson-Lees et al., 2001). The easiest way to distinguish between the Rüppell’s vulture and the white-backed vulture is by the white bill of and the black bill of G. africanus (Scott Kennedy, 2014). A subspecies, G. r. erlangeri, is distinguished from other members of by their gray coloration (Ferguson-Lees et al., 2001). (Clark and Davies, 2018; Ferguson-Lees, et al., 2001; O'Neal Campbell, 2015; Scott Kennedy, 2014)weigh 5.5 to 9 kg and have a wingspan of 220 to 255 cm when full grown (Clark and Davies, 2018). This source highlights that the adults and juveniles have different appearances, but adults exhibit no sexual dimorphism. Additionally, Clark and Davies continue that juvenile are usually darker than adults with a less-defined stripe on the underside of the wing and a more pink-colored neck. Adult have dark skin on their head and neck that is sparsely covered with down feathers and a white collar of feathers around the base of their neck (O’Neal Campbell, 2015). The body coloration of adult is dark brown with white stripes on the underside of the wings and some solid-white or white-tipped feathers on their belly and backs of wings (Clark and Davies, 2018). These vultures molt annually, but do not molt when they are breeding (Clark and Davies, 2018). Additionally, Clark and Davies state that when they are molting, they have feathers of different ages, and may appear slightly unkempt. The most closely related species of vulture to is the white-backed vulture (
The exact lifespan of wild G. fulvus, a close relative of , was 41.4 years (“Longevity Records: Life Spans of Mammals et al., 2002). According to “Longevity Records…” in the wild, the highest recorded age for another closely related vulture, G. coprotheres, was 11.25 years. Currently, the age ranges of the similar species represent our best approximation for until more information becomes available. ("Longevity Records: Life Spans of Mammals, Birds, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish", 2002; "Ruppell's Griffon Vulture", 2020)is unreported in the literature due to the small population size, but according to the Smithosonian’s website, they are estimated to live between 40 and 50 years in captivity (“Ruppel’s Griffon Vulture”, 2020). The above estimate seems reasonable given the oldest recorded age for a captive individual of
Connochaetes tarrinus), Burchell’s zebra (Equus burchelli), and Thomson’s gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii; O’Neal Campbell, 2015). O’Neal Campbell also states that will occassionally eat livestock when in close proximity to humans. (Ferguson-Lees, et al., 2001; O'Neal Campbell, 2015)feed on carrion, which is meat from carcasses (Ferguson-Lees et al., 2001). These vultures are carnivores and tend to eat African ungulates like the Blue wildebeest (
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
There are two subspecies of G. r. rueppellii and G. r. erlangeri. The differences between the two subspecies are mostly visual with G. r. erlangeri being smaller (between 0.4 to 0.6 kg less; Ferguson-Lees et. al., 2001). According to O’Neal Campbell, can fly higher than any other bird species (2015). When information was not available regarding specifically, information from other Old-World Vulture (Gyps) species was used and was noted accordingly. (Ferguson-Lees, et al., 2001; O'Neal Campbell, 2015),
Mena Sherer (author), Colorado State University, Nathan Dorff (editor), Colorado State University, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
helps break down and decompose dead plants and/or animals
an animal that mainly eats meat
flesh of dead animals.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
helpers provide assistance in raising young that are not their own
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
ranking system or pecking order among members of a long-term social group, where dominance status affects access to resources or mates
a substance used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
a species whose presence or absence strongly affects populations of other species in that area such that the extirpation of the keystone species in an area will result in the ultimate extirpation of many more species in that area (Example: sea otter).
parental care is carried out by males
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
an animal that mainly eats dead animals
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
breeding takes place throughout the year
2002. "Longevity Records: Life Spans of Mammals, Birds, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish" (On-line). Accessed February 23, 2021 at https://www.demogr.mpg.de/longevityrecords/0303.htm.
2020. "Ruppell's Griffon Vulture" (On-line). Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/ruppells-griffon-vulture.
2017. "Rüppell's Vulture" (On-line). IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22695207/118595083.
Clark, B., R. Davies. 2018. African Raptors. United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.library.colostate.edu/docview/2177095449/C4E68A1263184D40PQ/12?accountid=10223.
Ferguson-Lees, J., D. Christie, K. Franklin, P. Burton. 2001. Raptors of the World. United States: Houghton Mifflin. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Raptors_of_the_World/hlIztc05HTQC?hl=en&gbpv=0.
O'Neal Campbell, M. 2015. Vultures: Their Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation. United States: Taylor & Francis Group. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.library.colostate.edu/docview/2134548304/C4E68A1263184D40PQ/29?accountid=10223.
Ogada, D., P. Shaw, R. Beyers, R. Buij, C. Murn. 2016. Another Continental Vulture Crisis: Africa's Vultures Collapsing toward Extinction. Conservation Letters, 9/2: 89-97. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.library.colostate.edu/docview/2289723262/C4E68A1263184D40PQ/24?accountid=10223.
Pomeroy, D., P. Shaw, M. Opige, G. Kaphy, D. Ogada, M. Virani. 2015. Vulture Populations in Uganda: using road survey data to measure both densities and encounter rates within protected and unprotected areas. Bird Conservation International, 25/4: 399-414. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://www-cambridge-org.ezproxy2.library.colostate.edu/core/journals/bird-conservation-international/article/vulture-populations-in-uganda-using-road-survey-data-to-measure-both-densities-and-encounter-rates-within-protected-and-unprotected-areas/1C2D03B676BB1A678542C98C17AA2852.
Scott Kennedy, A. 2014. Birds of Kenya's Rift Valley. United States: Princeton University Press. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.library.colostate.edu/docview/2131378658/C4E68A1263184D40PQ/37?accountid=10223.
Stevenson, T., J. Fanshawe. 2002. Field Guide To the Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi. United Kingdom: T&AD Poyser. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Field_Guide_to_the_Birds_of_East_Africa/EriiQgAACAAJ?hl=en.
Virani, M., A. Monadjem, S. Thomsett, C. Kendall. 2012. Seasonal Variation in Breeding Rüppell's Vultures Gyps rueppellii at Kwenia, southern Kenya and implications for conservation. United Kingdom: Bird Conservation International. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0959270911000505.
Wilson, J., R. Primack. 2019. Conservation Biology in Sub-Saharan Africa. United Kingdom: Open Book Publishers. Accessed February 09, 2021 at https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy2.library.colostate.edu/docview/2297421933/C4E68A1263184D40PQ/8?accountid=10223.