In the summer of 2005 we were greeted at Everglades National Park with the Skeeter Meter registering HYSTERICAL. Needless to say, our visit was a short one as we detoured to Sanibel.
This year’s visit in early April, the Skeeter Meter registered BEARABLE, and to be honest I didn’t get a bite. No need for a bug jacket.
But this year, there was a new sign:
Tarps? As I looked around the parking lot, tarps were draped over most of the cars. The tarps are needed to protect vehicles from the black vultures.
What’s the problem?
The black vulture, the gray-headed cousin of the turkey vulture, is causing damage to vehicles–often trucks and SUVs –parked at boat ramps. Windshield wipers, sunroof seals, and rubber or vinyl parts are at particular risk. Most of the time, perching black vultures do little or no damage. However, in some cases, the destruction can be extensive. The vultures can tear out rubber seals, peck pieces out of truck bed liners, and scratch paint with their claws.
So before hiking the trail, we secured tarps on our Suburban to avoid any damage.
Yes, the Everglades is a one of a kind place and habitat to amazing wildlife; but it’s truly a WILD place. Where else will you find a Skeeter Meter, bug suits in the gift store, reminders to cover your car with tarps and warnings about both alligators and crocodiles?