top of page

About The Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture  (Gyps coprotheres)

IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable

Estimated Breeding Pairs in South Africa: 4500


The Cape Vulture is southern Africa’s only endemic vulture species. These vultures formerly bred in Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Namibia, but are now extinct in Swaziland, with only small, non-breeding populations remaining in Zimbabwe and Namibia.


This species has a fairly large wingspan of up to 2.6m and typically weighs from 7 to 11 kg. They are distinguished by their bare blue-coloured necks and cream-coloured plumage with dark brown feathers. 


Cape Vultures have a potential lifespan of over 30 years. They are cliff dwellers and live in colonies with large, extended families. They are monogamous breeders and lay one egg per breeding season. It is estimated that there are 4,500 breeding pairs remaining in southern Africa, with about 20% of the total population residing in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains.

bottom of page