Red-headed Vulture

About the Red-headed Vulture

Also known as: Asian King Vulture, Indian Black Vulture, Pondicherry Vulture, King Vulture

The Red-headed Vulture is an Old World species of vulture that lives in parts of Asia, including much of India. The species is also known as the Asian King Vulture, Indian Black Vulture, or Pondicherry Vulture.

Red-headed Vultures have distinctive plumage of black with white patches on the sides of the breast. Their bare heads are red, as are their legs and feet. They have loose skin folds on the sides of the neck.

Asian vultures like the Red-headed face several threats to their survival. These include changes in livestock management and farming practices, secondary poisoning, and accidental trapping. The Red-headed Vulture has a conservation status of Critically Endangered.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 23 August 2012
Scientific Name
Sarcogyps calvus
  • Falconiformes
  • Accipitridae
  • Sarcogyps
  • S. calvus
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered (as of 20 March 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
30 to 34 inches
78 to 102 inches
123 to 224 ounces


From IUCN Red List:
The Red-headed Vulture is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has suffered an extremely rapid population reduction in the recent past which is likely to continue into the near future, probably largely as a result of feeding on carcasses of animals treated with the veterinary drug diclofenac, perhaps in combination with other causes. For this reason it is classified as Critically Endangered.

International Names

Chinese (汉语) 黑兀鹫
Czech (Cesky) sup holohlavý
Danish (Dansk) Rødhovedet Grib
Dutch (Nederlands) Indische Oorgier
Finnish (Suomi) kalmokorppikotka
French (Français) Vautour royal
German (Deutsch) Kahlkopfgeier
Italian (Italiano) Avvoltoio calvo
Japanese (日本語) ミミハゲワシ [mimihagewashi]
Norwegian (Norsk) Rødhodegribb
Polish (Polski) sep lysy
Russian (русский язык) Индийский ушастый гриф
Spanish (Español) Buitre Cabecirrojo
Swedish (Svenska) Rödhuvad gam
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