Marmota monax

official rodent of CHO
The groundhog is the largest sciurid in its geographical range, typically measuring 40 to 65 cm (16 to 26 in) long (including a 15 cm (6 in) tail) and weighing 2 to 4 kg (4 to 9 lb). In areas with fewer natural predators and large amounts of alfalfa, groundhogs can grow to 80 cm (30 in) and 14 kg (31 lb). Groundhogs are well adapted for digging, with short but powerful limbs and curved, thick claws. Unlike other sciurids, the groundhog’s spine is curved, more like that of a mole, and the tail is comparably shorter as well—only about one-fourth of body length. Suited to their temperate habitat, groundhogs are covered with two coats of fur: a dense grey undercoat and a longer coat of banded guard hairs that gives the groundhog its distinctive “frosted” appearance.–wikipedia

Lets make the groundhog the “official rodent” of Charlottesville.

John Crow

The Town of Culpeper is having a “buzzard problem”. Big birds are hanging out doing their business where the town doesn’t want them.
Forty miles southwest, the City Council of Charlottesville discussed a perceived problem with assemblages of humanoids on their mall, at their meeting November 19. Members of the public made colorful use of language in defense of the humanoids right to sleep on the sidewalk, use base language and solicit funds from passers-by.

What options are in a town’s toolbox for dealing with unwanted wildlife?

Occasionally, a dead vulture (or a replica thereof) may be hung upside down from a tree or tower to get the vultures’ attention. “Using effigies deters roosting,” said town Public Works Director Jim Hoy.–Free Lance-Star

That would make for interesting photos. Other means:

Beginning Dec. 3, town employees (not police), along with officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will make another attempt to run the unwanted residents out of town.
An aerial bombardment, with loud firecracker-type devices, will be used to get the birds to move their roosts to rural areas. If that fails, some of the more than 70 buzzards will probably be shot.–Free Lance-Star

I have a liking for turkey vultures. They consume animals killed by automobiles. They are a working part of the eco-system. They are monogamous, they live a long time, they soar, they don’t talk. They can projectile vomit on you if you get in their space but generally, they do their business, cleaning up (their species name, Cathartes aura, means “cleaning breeze” in Latin).
So, the Town of Culpeper might shoot the offending birds? What about protection conferred by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA)? What is the exception?

My favorite vulture site, the Turkey Vulture Society
Charlottesville TVs

path of least resistance

The mucus secreted by the foot contains fibres which help prevent the slug from slipping down vertical surfaces. The “slime trail” that a slug leaves behind has some secondary effects: other slugs coming across a slime trail can recognize the slime trail as produced by one of the same species, which is useful in finding a mate. Following a slime trail is also part of the hunting behavior of some carnivorous slugs.–Wikipedia