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Black Vultures

May 27, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Jenny Bratburd

Black vultures are expanding their geographic range northward in Missouri. While vultures provide an important service in consuming waste material, black vultures can be a nuisance by occasionally attacking livestock and damaging property. These vultures are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, requiring permits for lethal take. Previous legislation HCR 102 (2020) proposed a Black Vulture Depredation Task Force. 

Highlights

  • In Missouri, the turkey vulture and black vulture help reduce and remove decaying organic material and control the spread of diseases such as rabies.
  • Black vultures are found in southern Missouri, and are expanding northward.
  • Black vultures can be a nuisance by attacking livestock, damaging property, and impacting aviation.
  • Guard dogs, shooting, and removing attractants can help reduce black vulture damage.
  • Black vultures are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, requiring permits for kills, though some states have sought to streamline the process.

Limitations

  • It is not clear why black vultures have an attraction to damaging vinyl/rubber materials.
  • Because a combination of mitigation strategies are often used to prevent black vulture damage, it can be hard to identify which strategies are most effective.
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