Himalayan Griffon
Gyps himalayensis


  Habitat: plateaus, deserts and mountain areas.
  Feeding habits: Himalayan griffon has lost its ability to catch animals and they'd tear up the corpses of dead animals with their strong bills.
  Food: dead bodies of all kinds of animals.
  Size: large-sized bird of prey with a full length of 1.2m; weight: 6000-7000 g; the full length of its wingspan while stretching out is about 3 m. 
  Habits: act in groups. It has strong power to fly and it often hovers in the air. It will fall down to seek its food after it discovers the corpses of dead animals. It eats a lot and tens of Himalayan griffons can eat up a complete dead body of an ox a day. It builds its nests in steep cliffs of high mountains and produces its eggs once a year. It has special resistance power against diseases. In spite that they often eat the dead bodies of animals died of diseases and hungry, but they never catch any illness because of this. In Tibet, the Himalayan griffons that eat the dead corpses of human are regarded as holy birds. It is strictly prohibited to kill such birds in Tibet. Therefore, Himalayan griffons work as "corpse buriers" in nature and they play an important role in making the nature cleaner and in preventing the spread of diseases. 
  Category: Ave, Falconiformes, Accipitridae
  Distribution: Northwest of Yunnan, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and region nearby, China.
  Level of protection: Class II key state protection animal of China