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Family : Accipitridae
L de 95 à 110 cm, E de 225 à 280 cm for larger species.
The term vulture is a vernacular name for some birds of prey present on almost every continent. The vultures are scavengers that feed mainly on animal carcasses and as in as "natural knackers' they provide a particularly important ecosystem service in an ecological niche essential to the good health of all animals, as well as that of man.
One of the main anatomical features of vultures is their head devoid of feathers and so at instead, covered with a fine down. Is often attributed an adaptive role to this character because their constrained feeding their heads to be very often covered with blood particularly difficult place to clean. They also have a long neck. They locate carcass mainly through their keen eyesight.
Vultures lay only one egg per breeding season, which makes them all the more vulnerable population.
The vultures feed on carcasses of dead animals. They hunt by flying high in the sky to locate the dead animals or close to death. A large prey such as a cow or a camel is often shared by several birds. These eating habits lead to actively participate in natural and quick disposal of large dead animals, both wild animals in sparsely inhabited by humans regions of livestock, such as sheep or cows . The ecological role of these large raptors is very important. By cleaning up the carcasses, they can prevent transmission of epidemic disease, or even near the villages to prevent the stench of putrefying bodies.
Disappearance and reintroduction :
The vultures have disappeared from the South of France over a century agoin large part because of the poison used to kill wolves and bears. The corpse deposit ban in nature has contributed to their scarcity. In 1987 the association "Vultures in Baronnies" launches the reintroduction program griffon and black vultures. Since we are witnessing the spontaneous return of the vulture Egyptian vulture and the bearded vulture.