Bearded Vulture

(Gypaetus barbatus)




Facts about this animal

The Bearded Vulture has a total length of 94-117 cm and the weight is 5-7 kg. The crown is dirty white ringed with black. A circle around the eyes and the face covered with stiff black "hair", and a black tuft of "hairs" forming a beard projecting downwards on each side of the beak. The throat is pinkish or brownish white, streaked with black. The underpart is pinkish or brownish white, tipped with black on the breast. The breast is more reddish than the belly. The upperpart and the wings are blackish grey with white shaft streaks. The tail is very long, wedge-shaped and pointed, blackish-grey. The bare skin around the eyes is red and the iris is yellow. The sexes are alike but males are smaller than females.

Did you know?
that the bearded vulture is the only bird of prey that drops large bones onto rocks below in order to feed on the marrow inside?


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Gypaetus barbatus
Name (English) Bearded Vulture
Name (French) Gypaète barbu
Name (German) Bartgeier, Lämmergeier
Name (Spanish) Quebrantahuesos
Local names Afrikaans: Lammergeier
Czech: Orlosup bradatý
Italian: Gipeto, avvoltoio degli agnelli
Portuguese: Quebra-osso
Romansh: Tschess barbet
seSotho: Seoli
Slovensko: Brkati ser
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Appendix II (as Accipitridae spp.)



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range Eastern Africa, South African Drakensberg Southwestern and central Asia, Southern and Central Europe
Habitat Mountainous regions
Wild population Approx.: 2,000-10,000 (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population About 100 birds kept by institutuons participating in the EEP. 36 of these were reported to ISIS (2005).

In the Zoo

Bearded Vulture


How this animal should be transported

Untrained birds travel better in completely dark boxes, with a carpeted floor and roof, with an upwards sliding door at one end and no perch. As a general rule, trained birds are easier to manage in boxes with a carpeted perch at the right height to give plenty of head and tail room, and with a hinged side opening door.

For air transport, Container Note 20 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka

Why do zoos keep this animal

Because bearded vultures have become extinct in Central Europe about a century ago, zoos pooled the bearded vulures in their custody and initiated an European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) with a strong educational component. Bearded vultures bred under this programme were released, and today there is again a population of more than 100 bearded vultures in the Alps.