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Black Vulture population and livestock attacks increasing

Landowners are starting to notice that  black vultures are killing some of their newborn calves or some of their smaller livestock animals. The identical species to that of the turkey vulture is becoming a more prevalent issue across the region throughout the last several years.  

Black vultures are different than turkey vultures in that they're just a little bit more of an aggressive animal. Turkey vultures are strictly  scavengers, but black vultures are scavengers first before occasionally killing their own prey. Black vultures were once known to be more common in southern portions of Missouri, but their populations are quickly increasing and making their way further north.  Weather patterns play a part in this increase because they do not do well in real cold weather. The last several years we're seeing a little bit milder winters, allowing them to become more able to survive further north. This northern increase means more run-ins with this federally protected bird.  Missouri Department of Conservation is partnering with many groups such as Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Department of Agriculture to work to help landowners deter these birds through various practices. To harvest this bird you need a special permit since they are a federally protected bird. MDC will also assist with assessments of properties to coordinate ways to better protect livestock  and scare these birds out of an area.

Landowners around Missouri may see black vultures with a white wing tag on them. If you do see these tags, try to report them by calling the Missouri Department of Conservation.

If you or someone you know is having issues with these black vultures, you can reach out to MDC or search online to get help.

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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms.

Chance joined the ABC 17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February 2021. He is currently the weekday noon meteorologist.


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