Hooded Vultures

To say there is an “African Vulture Crisis” is an understatement. Of the 11 species found in Africa, seven are listed as either globally Near-Threatened (3), Vulnerable (3), or Endangered (1). This dismal situation reflects a broader global problem for scavenging raptors: 14 of the world’s 23 species of vultures—more than half—are now threatened with extinction.

Hooded vultures have declined by more than 50 percent in the last 50 years and are currently faced with numerous threats, most related to human persecution, including hunting for food, use in witchcraft, incidental poisoning and poisoning by poachers.  

The need for action is now and this study is a critical first step, designed to better protect these birds both now and into the future.


Collaborative Work

Hawk Mountain's work began September 2013 in The Gambia, West Africa, with the placement of four tracking units on hooded vultures in collaboration with The Gambia Department of Parks and Wildlife Management. Work continued later in autumn 2013 with tracking units being placed on individual birds in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa.  To date we have placed tracking units on 20 hooded vultures.  The tracking units allow us to monitor the vultures' movements.  Identifying the ecological neighborhoods of hooded vultures is a critical first step in identifying potential causes of their precipitous decline.

The Future 

The next steps in this important work are to:

  • Assess the movement ecology of Hooded Vultures in both East and West Africa
  • Identify factors responsible for declines
  • Work together with government officials and local residents, as well as with local, regional, and international conservation organizations, to reverse declines in populations of Hooded Vultures and other African vultures.
  • Provide focused outreach to schoolchildren.



We are thankful for the support and assistance we have received over the years:

  • The Gambia Department of Parks and Wildlife Management
  • Endangered Wildlife Trust
  • VulPro
  • Wallace Research Fund
  • The Acopian Family
  • Evan Buechley
  • Clive Barlow

To help support this important research, please contact Senior Research Biologist David Barber (570-943-3411 x105, [email protected]) or donate today using the button below. Be sure to include in the comments of the form that the online gift is for new world vulture research.

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