The Leesburg Police Department and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services Program begins a week of vulture control Monday in Leesburg.
The town announced last week that starting Monday, and continuing throughout the week, federal wildlife specialists and town police officers plan to deploy pyrotechnics and lasers to scare the creatures away from areas they're damaging downtown.
The methods will be used between 4 and 5 p.m. in the areas of Mayfair Drive NE and Plaza Street NE.
The birds, by nature, will remain in the same areas for "extended periods of time," officials said in a statement. Not only do the creatures cause property damage -- picking away at rooftops and rubber seals and defecating on buildings, yards, and vehicles -- but they're also a health concern.
"Effective dispersal of this roost will benefit residents and vultures in the long term," officials wrote.
But the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is criticizing the Town of Leesburg’s plans for vulture control, saying they play a “critical role as scavengers and sanitarians”, helping to recycle dead animals and sanitize the area.
"Vulture numbers swell every year from late fall to early spring. It’s part of their natural rhythm,” said Nicole Hamilton, president of Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, noting the group was hoping to educate the public on the role vultures play in the environment.
Loudoun Group Decries Leesburg Vulture Control
Officials Plan to Move Vultures from Leesburg
Karen Graham reported for this story.