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(Ohio)Vultures destroying livestock. Fed.: "Hands Off. Black vultures are protected"
The Cincinnati Enquirer ^
| Sunday, October 5, 2003
| John Seewer
Posted on 10/05/2003 12:59:27 PM PDT by yankeedame
Sunday, October 5, 2003
Vultures' onslaught terrorizes livestock
Increase in flocks depletes Ohio farms
By John Seewer
The Associated Press
Hear the black vulture's call
AKA: Black buzzard, carrion crow; SIZE: 23 to 27 inches; WINGSPAN: 54 to 60 inches
COSHOCTON, Ohio - Alan Brinker couldn't figure out why all of his newborn lambs were dying.
"We'd have 10 new babies, and the next day I'd go out and we had 10 dead ones," the central Ohio farmer said.
Suspecting that a flock of black vultures may be to blame, he drove out to a hillside where a lone ewe was on the ground ready to give birth. It was too late. Fifty vultures had surrounded her.
"They had pecked her eyes out, beat her down," he said. "They had sliced her belly open, and they were pulling the baby out."
While black vultures have been harassing livestock for decades in southern states, their range appears to have expanded north and east in recent years. Complaints about the birds slaughtering livestock and destroying property also have increased, according to wildlife researchers.
Unlike turkey vultures, which eat carcasses and rarely attack livestock, black vultures will go after piglets, sheep and cows as well as dead animals.
They roost in dead trees, cellular phone towers and power lines in large packs - sometimes in the hundreds. They are nature's garbage disposals.
But the loss of forests has fragmented the birds' habitat, and an increase in landfills has made it easier for vultures to find food and expand their range, said Martin Lowney, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's director of wildlife services in Virginia.
It's not just sheep and cattle being targeted.
The vultures tear away at roof shingles, lawn chairs, wiper blades on cars and even pink plastic flamingoes in lawns.
"They're just mean and ornery," said Andy Montoney, a biologist with the USDA in Columbus.
His agency this summer visited a farm in southern Ohio where about 200 vultures had taken up residence. "They just picked on these people," Montoney said.
It's not known how many black vultures populate the nation. But surveys by bird watchers and the U.S. Geological Survey indicate the numbers have been increasing since 1990.
Because black vultures - like all native birds - are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, they can be killed only in small numbers by federal permit.
Most farmers are told to try to scare the birds away with noisemakers that sound like fireworks or gun blasts or by hanging an effigy that looks like a dead vulture near their roosts. Researchers have found those methods will work, but there's no guarantee.
Brinker didn't have much faith in such tactics. He got out of the sheep business soon after losing 90 newborns to vultures two years ago. He estimates he lost $6,700.
He still has beef cattle on his farm north of Zanesville, and lost a calf to vultures in the spring.
Brinker wants the birds taken off the protected list and thinks the federal government should reimburse farmers for the loss of livestock.
Ohio lawmakers this year adopted a policy that allows for compensation for livestock losses from black vultures. No claims had yet been made.
The state is on the northern edge of the black vultures' range.
TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Ohio; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: blackvultures; cattle; environment; farmers; migratorybirds; sheep; usda; usgs; vultures; wildlife
Let me get this straight, the state will pay (with my tax dollars)farmers/ranchers whose livestock has been destroyed by vultures? Why not save us all some money and just let the farmer/rancher take care of the problem himself?
"Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our
wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions,
they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
- John Adams -
Make your statement.
posted on 10/05/2003 1:00:40 PM PDT
by Support Free Republic
(Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
Maybe a little recreational hunting's in order.
posted on 10/05/2003 1:05:46 PM PDT
I'm quoting someone else from this group: "Shoot, shovel and shut up!"
posted on 10/05/2003 1:09:09 PM PDT
Your repeated suggestion is the one that makes the most sense.
This is just one more of the thousands of "fed" policies that proves the fed has it's collective head up it's a$$ when creating these stupid rules and regs. They make light of these situations and simply say; "unintended consequences", and the people get to pay the bills.
If Ohio runs out of these birds, we've got plenty to send 'em from FL.
This seems to be somewhat unusual behavior for vultures, which are carrion eaters. (They only eat stuff after it's dead, performing a very usefull service. That includes cleaning up "road kill" and the leftovers from predator kills) I guess I could see them going after a newborn, but the ewe? If they were stressed by lack of food, maybe, but the article says they are expanding their range due to high availability of food from garbage dumps? Very strange.
They are on the puny side as well. At least compared to the local Turkey Vultures, which are quite abundent. I've never heard of them attacking live livestock.
posted on 10/05/2003 1:30:04 PM PDT
by El Gato
(Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
"Shoot, shovel and shut up!"
That's a pretty nice-looking machine gun - who makes it?
posted on 10/05/2003 1:44:46 PM PDT
We have plenty in Texas too.
I guess I've been around here for about 6 years or so now. Time sure flies!
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posted on 10/05/2003 2:32:37 PM PDT
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I've always thought you could shoot anything coming after your livestock.
posted on 10/05/2003 2:43:06 PM PDT
We camped-after a VERY long day on the road-at some very forgettable place in Tennessee.Woke up in the morning to find the trees around the campsite were FULL of roosting vultures (or buzzards,whatever !) screaming back and forth at each other and fertilizing every piece of bare ground you could imagine.
I don't think we even bothered to make coffee before pulling out of there !
posted on 10/05/2003 4:24:58 PM PDT
(So little time - so many FLAMES to light !!)
To: yankeedame; farmfriend; Carry_Okie; NoControllingLegalAuthority; AuntB; eldoradude
""They had pecked her eyes out, beat her down," he said."
Well... That sounds exactly like last Friday's Liberal Media Feeding Frenzy over Rush, PlameGate & Schwarzenagger!!!
posted on 10/05/2003 6:40:06 PM PDT
(I prefer consistent "Considerate Conservatives," to "Compassionate Conservatives," everytime !!!)
Made in So Africa use to be leagal to import them, but isn't anymore, may be in a while if the R's don't cave and reinstate the ban.
Once when walking along some rr trax with friends in rural Virgina, we spooked a pair of buzzards out of tree. They flew off dropping a generous load as they went which nailed the guy standing next to me, head to toe.
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