As Vultures of the World shows, few avian groups are as widely recognized, but as little understood as are vultures and condors.
Keith L. Bildstein's latest work is an inspirational and long overdue blend of all things vulture. Based on decades of personal experience, dozens of case studies, and numerous up-to-date examples of cutting-edge science, this book introduces readers to the essential nature of vultures and condors. Not only do these most proficient of all vertebrate scavengers clean up natural and man-made organic waste, but they also recycle ecologically essential elements back into both wild and human landscapes, allowing our ecosystems to function successfully across generations of organisms. With distributions ranging over more than three-quarters of all land on five continents, the world's twenty-three species of scavenging birds of prey offer an outstanding example of biological diversity writ large.
Included in the species fold are the world's most abundant large raptor, several of its longest lived, and the most massive of all soaring birds. With a fossil record dating back more than 50 million years, vultures and condors possess numerous adaptions that characteristically serve them well, but at times also make them particularly vulnerable to human actions. Vultures of the World is a truly global treatment of vultures, offering a roadmap of how best to protect these birds and their important ecology.