The black vulture (or cinereous vulture, in French monk-vulture) is one of the largest raptors in Europe. These are vultures who live alone or in pairs, but never in large groups. However, they sometimes fly in the company of griffon vultures. The black vulture does not nest in the hollow of the Tarn and Jonte river Canyons’ cliffs like the other species of vultures, but at the top of trees such as oak, Scots pine, Austrian black pine or juniper trees which are relatively load-bearing.
This vulture goes in third position for the tasting of food left by the previous species of vultures. It takes part in the frenzies by feeding primarily on the fleshy parts of corpses, namely the skin, cartilage and tendons thanks to its robust beak.
Twenty couples currently occupy the Grands Causses territory, including 4 in the Tarn river Canyon and 8 in the Jonte river Canyon. This species reproduces today less quickly than griffon vultures because its reintroduction was done mainly with juvenile birds not yet of reproductive age. It also needs a longer acclimatization period. In addition, it tolerates disturbance less than other species, which makes it more fearful and less able to procreate. Finally, the weather conditions are sometimes unfavorable since it nests in treetops.
- Wingspan: 2.50 m to 2.95 m
- Weight: 7 to 10 kg
- Plumage: uniform dark brown