Eurasian Griffon Vulture

The Eurasian Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is a large vulture with a widespread breeding range, extending across Europe and the Middle East into Asia. According to a 2021 population estimate, the Griffon vulture population globally numbers anywhere from 80,000 to 900,000 individuals. The lower end of the range is more likely, given that populations in Asia have dropped sharply over the last ten years. Nonetheless, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized the Griffon vulture as “least concern,” a status reserved for species that are common and widespread.

That IUCN determination is based solely on European data, where populations have experienced an uptick—more than 1/3 increase—after suffering sharp declines in the 20th century. Notable success stories have occurred in Spain, France, and Portugal where populations have increased dramatically, thanks to extensive and multifaceted conservation measures.

By contrast, the plight of the Griffon vulture in Kazakhstan is not so bright. Precipitous drops in the population in recent years are pushing the raptor toward collapse in the country.

Eurasian Griffon Vulture nesting by G. Pulikova