Vultures are large birds that are classified into two groups. New World vultures live in the Americas and include species like the critically endangered California Condor and the widespread, familiar Turkey Vulture. Old World species are found across Europe, Africa, and Asia. Species of Old World vulture include the Lammergeier and the Eurasian Griffon.
For the most part, vultures are scavengers that feed on dead animals. Because of this, they play a very important part in keeping the environment clean. They also help stop the spread of diseases; their strong stomach acids allow them to consume diseased matter, safely removing it from the food chain. And their bald heads help keep them clean!
Many vulture species are endangered. Threats vary and include habitat loss, changes in livestock management, persecution, and hunting. Secondary poisoning, especially from the hoofstock drug diclofenac, is a huge problem facing many of Asia's vultures. Several species found in India, for example, have suffered a 99% loss in population just in the last few decades.
Vultures need our help! Browse through our species pages to learn about the different types of vulture found in the world. Print out our free coloring pages and activity sheets, and help us spread awareness of these amazing, important, and yes, even cute, birds!