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The lappet-faced vulture is a huge species, ranking as the longest and largest winged vulture in its range behind the closely related cinereous vulture. This species measures around 95–115 cm (37–45 in) in body length, with a wingspan of 2.5–2.9 m (8.2–9.5 ft) The lappet-faced vulture is blackish above with a strongly contrasting white thigh feathers. The black feathers on the back of African vultures are lined with brown, while Arabian birds are dark brown rather than black above. The underside can range from pure white to buff-brown.
This vulture prefers to live in dry savannah, thornbush, arid plains, deserts with scattered trees in wadis, open mountain slopes.
The lappet-faced vulture's world population is believed to have decreased perceptibly and its conservation status is ranked vulnerable.