EXTENDING OUR REACH: Black Vultures becoming problem for some livestock

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Michelle South

In various parts of the country, including North Carolina, Black Vultures have become an increasingly significant problem for livestock producers. 

There have been several cases of Black Vultures attacking livestock, including newborn calves, resulting in substantial injury and even death.

Vultures have a very keen sense of smell and can smell embryonic fluid and blood, attracting them to the potential food source. 

There is documentation of Black Vultures attacking sheep, lambs and calves. For those having problems with predators killing or injuring livestock and are unsure of the culprit, call or email me and I can help you determine the predator and what livestock management practices can be implemented to discourage them.

Since Black Vultures are a federally protected bird, a permit must be obtained before action can be taken. 

For those having issues with Black Vultures attacking livestock, call WNC District 8 Wildlife Biologist Danny Ray at 828-433-8880 or email him at daniel.ray@ncwildlife.org for information about obtaining both state and federal permits.  


Michelle South is Area Extension Agent, Agriculture – Livestock. She may be reached by calling 828-387-5748 or by email at mcsouth@ncsu.edu.