Date: 4/1/21 3:40 pm From: Terry Miller <millert832...> Subject: No sighting - Vulture populations and roadkills, etc...
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As I traveled to St. Joseph today, my wife and I noticed quite a few roadkills. So, on the way back, we kept a tally of them. For the approximately 35 miles, we were able to see 33 roadkills comprising 11 species. They were as follows:
Raccoon - 10 Opossum - 8 Muskrat - 2 WTDeer - 2 E. Fox Squirrel - 2 Red-tailed Hawk - 2 Barred Owl -1 Striped Skunk - 1 E. Cottontail - 1 Coyote - 1 Black Rat Snake - 1 Unknown - 2
We should have kept track of Turkey Vultures on the way home as they were often visible soaring but none were near the carcasses. All this made me reflect about their population over the years? Has it increased significantly? I don't ever remember there being a lack of seeing them when it wasn't winter?
I also remember as a teenager, when trapping and selling furs wasn't as taboo in our culture, that raccoons were seldom seen as roadkills. First, the population was surely lower due to all the trapping and the strong fur market. But also a person could pick up a road-killed raccoon, not even skin it, and sell it for 35.00 or more to a local fur buyer. Very few dead raccoons were ever seen on the roads because of that.
The recent thread concerning Black Vultures and their predation on calves also comes to mind. In the northern part of the state, Black Vultures are not seen. I have no idea if their population has increased very much over the years or not? Would the reduced trapping of furbearers today (due to such low prices) and the associated increase in roadkills have influenced an increase in either Turkey Vultures or Black Vultures over the years?
If anyone has some knowledge of their population trends, please share that information if you would?
Enjoy the Spring!!
Terry L. Miller Plattsburg, MO <millert832...>
Follow me on Instagram: terryl.miller
"Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made." Romans 1:20
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