Andean Condor - Vultur gryphus
The Andean Condor is the largest raptor in the world. It plays an important role in mythology, especially in the Andes where it is viewed as an embodiment of the Sun. Thanks to DNA analysis, it has recently been discovered that the Cathartidae, New World vultures, belong to a different group of Raptors, that of the Storks. It is the adaptation through specialisation to the same climate and above all, the same diet which makes them look like Old World vultures. This is called adaptive convergence.
First chick hatched at Le Rocher des Aigles : Cuzco was born on 5 May 2013. It is important to point out that Cuzco’s parents were already born in captivity, the male at Moscow Zoo and the female at La Volerie des aigles, an eagle sanctuary in Kintzheim. So it is a second generation bird.
2 youngsters were born in 2014 and two more in 2015. This is a unique result in Europe and possibly in the world.
CLASS : Aves
ORDER : Cathartiformes
FAMILY : Cathartidae
WINGSPAN : 3.2 m
WEIGHT : Female 8 - 11 kg / Male 11 - 15 kg
CLUTCH SIZE : 1 egg
INCUBATION : 59 days
LIFE EXPECTANCY : 50 years and over
DIET : it is necrophageous and feeds on carcasses, eating virtually nothing but dead animals.
NATURAL HABITAT : mainly in the mountains, high peaks and alpine regions, and mostly far away from human disturbance and near carrion. It may also come down to coastal regions to feed on cetaceans and seabirds washed up on the beaches.
RANGE : South America
Conservation status info
Main threats: loss of habitat, poisoning resulting from eating the carcasses of dead animals which have themselves been poisoned, disturbances, illegal hunting and persecution play a large role in the decline of this species, whose population is currently dwindling.
The latest assessment in 2020 classifies this species as VU (Vulnerable).