- The Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) is also known as the Black Vulture, Monk Vulture, or Eurasian Black Vulture. It is a member of the family Accipitridae, which also includes many other diurnal raptors such as Kites, buzzards and harriers.
- Huge, broad-winged vulture, short, often slightly wedge-shaped tail; all dark brown. Juveniles are blackish. One of the largest Old World vultures. Bare skin of head and neck bluish grey; head covered with blackish down. Massive beak. Sexes alike. Voice Little used and quite unspecialised. Calls include croaks, grunts, and hisses when feeding at carcasses; also querulous mewing, loud squalling or roaring during breeding season.
- It inhabits forested areas in hills and mountains at 300-1,400 m in Spain, but higher in Asia, where it also occupies scrub and arid and semi-arid alpine steppe and grasslands up to 4,500m5. It forages over many kinds of open terrain, including forest, bare mountains, steppe and open grasslands. Nests are built in trees or on rocks (the latter extremely rarely in Europe but more frequently in parts of Asia), often aggregated in very loose colonies or nuclei. Its diet consists mainly of carrion from medium-sized or large mammal carcasses, although snakes and insects have been recorded as food items. Live prey is rarely taken.
- The two main threats to the species are direct mortality caused by humans (either accidentally or deliberately) and decreasing availability of food. The main cause of unnatural death is the use of poisoned baits for predator extermination, although shooting and destruction of nests also occur, Shooting and poisoning are increasing in Mongolia, and many birds are trapped or shot in China for their feathers.