RAVENS IN THE DESERT

RAVENS IN THE DESERT

Natural predators have their place in nature’s world, but we humans shouldn’t give them an advantage. Ranger Pat Pilcher talks about raven control…
One of the most conspicuous creatures that dwell in our area is the Common Raven. Ravens are highly intelligent, and opportunistic. They eat many kinds of plant and animal food. They have learned to find food scraps in campgrounds, residential trashcans and landfills. These rich, human foods have led to a tremendous increase in the raven population that threatens our native wildlife. One, simple step you can take help keep the raven population in check is to cover your trash cans to prevent ravens from foraging for garbage. The desert tortoise is a major prey species of the raven. The always-hungry birds readily eat young tortoises whose shells have yet to harden. During this defenseless stage, ravens take nearly 75 percent of juvenile tortoises. Along with habitat loss, this high mortality rate decreases recovery rates for tortoise populations. For more information, visit the Desert Managers Group website at www.dmg.gov.

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