Par Marsha SCHLEE, de l'UMR 7204 CESCO - Centre d'Écologie et des Sciences de la Conservation

Most Mesoamerican countries have classified the King Vulture as a species in danger of extinction.  In El Salvador one or two breeding pairs can be found at Parque Nacional El Imposible (PNEI) in the western departement of Ahuachapán, another pair in northern Morazán and occasional transients, probably from Honduras, in northern Chalatenango and Santa Ana.  At PNEI King Vulture nests have been found on the ground or in large holes in trees--Volador Terminalia oblonga (Combretaceae) and Ojushte de invierno Brosimum alicastrum (Moraceae).  Movement patterns of the species at PNEI were monitored from 20 March 2001 to February 2002.  Such data help to pinpoint roosting, nesting and feeding sites and are indispensable for managing the species.  PNEI and its buffer zones cover some 5000 ha, but the King Vultures frequently go outside the area in search of food.  Breeding is successful but abundance has not increased.  Some young may have wandered to nearby forested areas in Guatemala or farther into the Cordillera Costera de Apaneca-llamatepec, but no data are available  on mortality or dispersal patterns.  The conservation of the King Vulture in El Salvador should be enhanced by the programme of certification of ecologically-friendly shade-coffee plantations as well as by expansion of the present Salvadoran system of protected areas and biological corridors.


Schlee, M.A., R.A. Pérez León, V. Campos, J.E. Sandoval, M. Catalán, O. Martínez & E. Fuentes.  2004.  The King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa in El Salvador: an endangered speciesIn Raptors Worldwide, pp. 93-109.  R.D. Chancellor & B.-U. Meyburg (eds.).  WWGBP/MME, Berlin & Budapest