Greater Yellow-headed Vulture Cathartes melambrotus

  • Order: Cathartiformes
  • Family: Cathartidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Matthew F. Jones


Conservation Status

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture has a very wide distribution and its IUCN Red List conservation status is assessed as Least Concern, although the population appears to be decreasing (BirdLife International 2017). This species may be more resilient than other raptors due to its ability to feed on smaller carrion and to locate food effectively in forests through olfaction (Buechley and ┼×ekercio─člu 2016).

Effects of human activity on populations

Greater Yellow-headed Vulture is most threatened by loss of habitat due to the destruction and fragmentation of primary forest. Like other scavengers, it is also susceptible to the accumulation of toxins and heavy metals ingested from carrion. Overhunting of food resources also likely decreases the availability of carrion (Houston 1994b).

Recommended Citation

Jones, M. F. (2017). Greater Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes melambrotus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.