Andean Condor

(Vultur gryphus)




Facts about this animal

The Andean Condor is the largest New World Vulture of South America. It has a total length of 109 - 146 cm and a wingspan of up to 300 cm.

The head is naked with small bristles, coloured red or blackish red, and with a large, fleshy comb. It has a collar of white down at the base of the neck.

The body plumage is glossy black, white flight feathers on its wing. The bill is ivory with a slate coloured base, the legs are greyish. Females are similar to males, but they have no comb, and the collar is smaller. Juveniles are entirely dusky brown. The head has no comb and is covered with short downy feathers.

Did you know?
that there is a strongly held belief that condors attack cattle, so that ranchers feel justified in shooting them to protect their herds? In fact, condors are carrion-eaters, feeding off corpses. In so doing, they perform a valuable function by removing potential sources of disease.


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Vultur gryphus
Name (English) Andean Condor
Name (French) Condor des Andes
Name (German) Kondor
Name (Spanish) Cóndor andino, Cóndor de los Andes
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Appendix II (as Cathartidae spp.)



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range Andes, from southern Chile and Argentina to Venezuela
Habitat Prefers open areas (Grassland, mountainous areas, deserts and coasts), nests in ledges surrounded by steep cliffs
Wild population Threatened over most of their range, mostly due to human persecution (poaching, poisoning), but also because of habitat loss or alteration, and loss of food sources. There are captive breeding and reintroduction programmes in Colombia, Venezuela and Peru.
Zoo population 192 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Andean Condor


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


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Why do zoos keep this animal

Zoos keep Andean condors because of their cultural and educational value. There is no regionally coordinated bredding programme in Latin America, but some zoos breed the species and make ex situ-bred birds available for reintroductions.