The IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Vulture Specialist Group is dedicated to Accipitrid and Cathartid vulture conservation, research and education.


Vultures and Condors are highly threatened in many parts of the world where they occur. As a group, vultures are one of the most endangered groups of birds in the world. 

The VSG was founded in 2011 and is made up of biologists, conservationists and people from other areas of expertise that work with or have an interest in vultures. The conservation philosophy is based on the concept that groups of concerned people can take a group of threatened species under their protection and assume responsibility for their survival.

African White-backed Vulture_SAd_Leeupan


The IUCN SSC Vulture Specialist Group aims to advocate and create greater awareness of the plight of vultures and coordinate effective conservation activities to their benefit.
The Vulture Specialist Group will support and work closely with BirdLife International as the Red List Authority for birds, but with particular reference to the global status of vultures.


  • Identify and communicate information about emerging threats to vultures globally

  • Promote the use of appropriate mitigation measures to address threats where possible

  • Facilitate the sharing of expertise and knowledge between regions where appropriate

  • Support CITES, at national and international level, in vulture-related issues


  • Conduct and promote scientific research on ecology and habitat use by vultures to support management decisions regarding their conservation

  • Promote and encourage sustained population monitoring at key sites for vultures using appropriate monitoring methods

  • Identify gaps in knowledge and promote applied research into such species, threats or habitats where appropriate


  • Promote and facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise with regard to vultures and their conservation

  • Use Vulture News as the official print journal for the Vulture Specialist Group to disseminate information about vultures and their conservation

  • Make available published and unpublished information about vultures on a website

  • Ensure that the wider public and interest groups receive regular information and updates on the conservation of vultures


  • Work with governments, research institutions, conservation organisations and communities to develop and implement effective conservation measures

  • Support and promote the conservation of vultures through the International Vulture Awareness Day working with its partner organisations

Vulture Specialist Group Co-Chairs:

Chris Bowden  &   André Botha

Regional Co-Chairs:

Africa - Darcy Ogada

Asia - Chris Bowden

Europe - José Tavares

Latin America - Sergio Lambertucci

North America - Keith Bildstein


Membership of the Vulture Specialist Group

Interested people actively involved in vulture-related work, research, conservation or other activities are welcome to apply to become members of the VSG.

Membership is a voluntary activity. Early career researchers are encouraged to apply for Associate Membership, whereas established vulture workers for regular Membership.

All members are invited to contribute to VSG activities according to their area of expertise and also promote the work of the VSG. Where relevant, this will include implementing the Convention on Migratory Species Multi-species Action plan for African-Eurasian vultures. 

Potential new members should initially contact their relevant regional chair (noted above) by sending an email for their attention to:

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Gonzalo Ignazi