Systematic List of New World Vultures
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Systematic List of New World Vultures book
This chapter examines the form, foraging and feeding habits, breeding patterns and status of the New World or Cathartid vultures. These are the Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), Yellow-headed vulture (Cathartes melambrotus), Greater Yellow-headed vulture (C. burrovianus) Black vulture (Coragyps atratus), King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) and California condor (Gymnogyps californianus). New World vultures are given a separate chapter because they have disputed status; classifi ed either in their own Family Cathartidae or their own Order Cathartiformes (Ericson et al. 2006; Remsen et al. 2008). As noted earlier, some scientists have even placed them with the storks in the Order Ciconiiformes or even as a subfamily of the storks (Sibley and Monroe 1990), although this latter grouping was criticized as an oversimplifi cation (Avise et al. 1994; Griffi ths 1994; Fain and Houde 2004; Cracraft et al. 2004; Gibb et al. 2007; Brown 2009). Some multi-locus DNA studies place these vultures within the Falconiformes (Hackett et al. 2008). In 2007, the American Ornithologists’ Union’s North American checklist also placed the Cathartidae within the Falconiformes (American Ornithologists’ Union 2009), but later placed the family in the Ciconiiformes in the AOU’s North American and South American Checklists (Remsen et al. 2008; American Ornithologists’ Union 2010).