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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Factors influencing the global distribution of the endangered Egyptian vulture

Panthi, Saroj; Pariyar, Shiva; Low, Matthew


Vultures are ecologically important primarily because of their scavenging role in cleaning carcasses of the environment. Because of anthropogenic impacts, the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) has suffered catastrophic declines in parts of its range and, thus, information about its global distribution and factors influencing its occurrence within this range are essential for its conservation. To this end, we estimated the global distribution of Egyptian vulture and variables related to this distribution. We used occurrence points (n = 4740) from online data sources and literature, environmental variables related to these sites and Maximum Entropy software to model the distribution of this species and its relationship to environmental variables during the entire year, breeding and overwintering. Out of ~ 49 million km2 study area, the Egyptian vulture had a predicted range of 6,599,508 km2 distributed across three continents: Africa, Asia and Europe. The densest distribution was in Southern Europe, India and Northern Africa and a sparser distribution was around Mid and Western Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan. Climate was related to the vulture’s most probable range: in particular medium temperature seasonality and low precipitation during the coldest yearly quarter were important variables regardless of the season of observations examined. Conservation of identified habitats and mitigation of anthropogenic impacts to conserve these vultures are recommended for immediate and long-term conservation of the Egyptian vulture globally.

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Scientific Reports
2021, Volume: 11, number: 1, article number: 21901

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