Lappet-faced vultures are easily recognized by their very large size, bare pink head and fleshy folds of the skin called lappets, which give rise to their name. Their large, powerful beaks are adapted for tearing hides, tendons and other coarse tissue from the prey that might be too tough for other scavengers. They dominate a feeding site and are seen as "the king of vultures". It is often their 'duty' to open up a closed carcass if it wasn't brought down by predators such as lions or leopards. Although they are often referred to as being 'ugly', vultures are fascinating and extremely specialized birds, uniquely adapted to fill their role as 'cleaners' of the bush. Not only are dead and decaying carcasses swiftly 'dealt with' but possible centers of disease are effectively removed. Lappet-faced vultures biggest threat is humans. Their population keeps on decreasing and their deaths are mainly caused by poisoning (accidental or intentional.)Sadly, their body parts are sought after for "African muti" (Traditional medicine) due to a belief that the vultures have magical properties. The Lappet-faced vulture was also named as South Africa's "Bird of the year" for 2017.