Wednesday 24 December 2008

Photo of the Day #24: Rüppell's griffon vulture

Rüppell's griffon vulture
Gyps rueppelli (Brehm, 1852)
Accipitridae; Falconiformes; Aves; Chordata
London Zoo
November 2008

Whilst in the car for the entire duration of my stay in North Cyprus in October, I pointed my face skywards to look for griffon vultures (the European species, Gyps fulvus), but didn't find any. Vultures are charismatic creatures; for all their bad reputation, they certainly have beautiful plumage, but obviously not on the head. Rüppell's griffons are found in savannah habitats of the central parts of Africa, from Guinea in the west to Tanzania in the east. There are related species found in many parts of Eurasia, with the European griffon being found in western Europe towards central Asia, and other, severely endangered Gyps species from India and surrounding areas.

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