BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE
Significant Wildlife Die-Off Under Investigation
Roy McBride, a member of the interagency panther capture crew, came upon a dead black vulture along Turner River Road on the morning of March 16th, then spotted several more dead vultures on Fire Prairie Trail. McBride notified chief ranger Ed Clark, who in turn notified dispatch and asked for rangers and resource managers to respond. Ranger Mary Jo Shreffler and resource management staff subsequently located 32 dead or dying black vultures and three opossums. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was advised and one of their officers responded. Park resource management employees Annette Johnson and Steve Schulze, outfitted with personal protective suits, collected the specimens while hydrologist Paul Murphy collected water samples from nearby water sources to test for contamination. The dead animals are being sent to various labs for testing. A US Fish and Wildlife Service special agent visited the park the next day; while he was on-site, two more black vultures were found. The investigation continues.
Name: Gary Shreffler, Park Ranger
Federal wildlife officials report mysterious vulture deaths (read more)
Photos by Juan C. Aguero (juanKa)