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Black vulture and turkey vulture

Vultures

Overview

Vultures are migratory birds, Federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. However, vultures may be associated with problems, including agricultural and property damage and health and safety concerns. Integrated solutions to address problems may include habitat manipulation, dispersal techniques, and population management.

Two different species of vultures, black vultures and turkey vultures, are native to North America. As scavengers, vultures play an important role in the ecosystem. Formerly suppressed by the effects of pesticides on reproduction, populations of both species have increased dramatically in recent years. Vultures adapt and thrive in close proximity to people. They often form large roosts and loafing areas, numbering from a few dozen to hundreds of individual vultures. Population trends probably will continue to increase, as will the frequency of conflicts with people.