This is also known as the King Vulture, Black Vulture, or Pondicherry Vulture. This species is rare. It inhabits the grasslands and shrublands of India (mainly Northeast India, Western Ghats, and Gujarat), Cambodia and Vietnam, from the sea level up to 2500m (BirdLife International 2017).
According to the IUCN Red List assessment, the population of this species used to be widespread throughout the Southeast Asian countries years ago but at present, it is rapidly declining, with the current population size ranging between 2,500 and 9,999 individuals. The threat to its persistence comes from habitat disturbance due to large-scale agriculture and other human encroachments. Individual mortality is high due to the ingestion of highly toxic NSAID diclofenac (which is used to treat livestock) (BirdLife International 2017).
Cite this page along with its URL as: Bhavanarayeni, R., and A. Bayani. 2023. Sarcogyps calvus (Scopoli, 1786) – Red-headed Vulture. Satose, V., A. Bayani, V. Ramachandran, P. Roy, and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Birds of India, v. 2.17. Indian Foundation for Butterflies. http://www.birdsofindia.org/sp/1075/Sarcogyps-calvus
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