Thursday, April 30, 2015
Federally protected black vultures attacking livestock, leaving behind gruesome remains
Black vultures typically feed on the weak and young, often attacking newborns, Ireland writes. Mark Tucker, who lost five calves in 2014 to black vultures, estimates that each calf was worth between $1,500 to $1,800.
"The financial loss of the livestock is aggravated by the gruesome nature of the attacks," Ireland writes. Brandon Boone, a conservation officer with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, detailed one farmer's account of seeing a vulture "standing on the back of a newborn calf . . . trying to peck its eyes out." Farmer Donald McDowell "said a group of about 15 vultures pecked out one of his cow’s eyes as she was giving birth . . . Gil Myers described watching a wake (flock) of black vultures track a blind calf through the woods."
Landowners say coyotes have caused problems, but that's a problem they can legally take care of, with no daily bag limits for coyotes, said the KFW website, Ireland writes. But black vultures, which have increased in range and population, are protected through the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. (Read more)