Published June 19, 2015

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers’ Mountain Home Project Office will use a last resort method in upcoming months to discourage hundreds of vultures from damaging the infrastructures at Bull Shoals and Norfork dams.

In 2013 the Corps requested and received a received a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use a lethal method to discourage the vultures from roosting and damaging the dam and powerhouse.  The Corps renewed in permit in 2014 and again in 2015.

This will be the first year the Corps will use the permit to take a small number of vultures to discourage others vultures from roosting and damaging the Corps’ infrastructure.

The Corps worked with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Inspection Service to develop several long term methods to discourage the birds from roosting at the dam and power plant areas with only marginal success.

The Corps plans to continue its three year use of non-lethal methods such as bird spikes, propane cannons, tactile repellants, plastic dead vulture effigies, and general harassment using pyrotechnic noise making devices similar to fireworks to also discourage the birds.

The vultures have damaged the softer more pliable materials found on the dams, facilities, and powerhouse roofs.  They have also damaged parked vehicles by pecking and stripping windshield wiper blades, door insulation, and any soft exterior materials.

The caustic vulture droppings have also damaged metal and painted surfaces and discolored the concrete surfaces in areas where they roost. 

The large number of vultures congregating on Corps’ infrastructure began in 2012 and the birds have caused damages totaling tens of thousands of dollars to the facilities.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife permit requires that the vultures taken will to be used as effigies to further discourage other vulture from roosting and damaging the Corps’ infrastructure. The dead vultures will be used to form a connection between death and the dam and loud noises, making the non-lethal pyrotechnics more effective.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers will carry out the permit for the Corps in this matter.

For more information, call the Mountain Home Project Office at (870) 425-2700, extension 1400.

Laurie Driver

Release no. 15-053