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Range DescriptionGyps himalayensis is distributed from western China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, east through the Himalayan mountain range in India, Nepal and Bhutan, to central China and Mongolia. The species is regarded as common in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, with wintering populations also found in Yunnan province (Yang Liu in litt. 2011). It is described as fairly common in parts of Himachal Pradesh, India (especially in Sainj Valley) (V. Jolli in litt. 2014). This species is probably a regular winter visitor in low numbers to the plains of Rajasthan, and in 2013 there were a number of records of vagrants in southern India (Praveen J. in litt. 2012, 2014). It is regarded as a widespread altitudinal migrant in Nepal (C. Inskipp and H. S. Baral in litt. 2011, M. Virani in litt. 2014). It appears to be relatively common in Omnogovi province, especially in Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Mongolia, and some adjacent massifs (D. L. Yong in litt. 2013).
The species has become an almost annual, but rare, winter visitor to Thailand and the Thai-Malay Peninsula (D. L. Yong in litt. 2011, C. Kasorndorkbua in litt. 2012), and has reached the Riau islands; it also regularly occurs in Kachin state, and probably also Shan and Chin states, Myanmar (D. L. Yong in litt. 2011, J. C. Eames in litt. 2012), but is probably only a vagrant or rare winter visitor to Cambodia (J. C. Eames in litt. 2012). Most birds recorded in Thailand have been in their first year (C. Kasorndorkbua in litt. 2012). It is a scarce and local, but increasing, winter visitor to Bangladesh, where all birds recorded have been immatures (P. Thompson in litt. 2014).
The species's population appears to be stable in Dehradun District, Uttarakhand, India (A. P. Singh in litt. 2014), and elsewhere in India and Nepal (M. Virani in litt. 2014), but appears to have fluctuated in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal, where a decline in 2002-2005 was followed by a partial recovery, probably resulting from immigration from Central Asia (Acharya et al. 2009, K. Paudel and T. Galligan in litt. 2014).