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Gull project success

Section:  Dumfries and West  | Tags: ,

A SCHEME to control seagulls in Dumfries town centre is working well, say council officials.

Closeup of a young white and gray sea gull with food on its beak

The gull project was launched in 2009 and since then 22,219 of the bird’s eggs have been removed and 1077 chicks “humanely despatched”.
And figures for last year show that 2313 eggs were destroyed and 240 chicks were dealt with in 2016.
The statistics are revealed in the environmental health department’s annual report, which will go before councillors next week.
It states: “Given the figures it is obvious that the scheme in its current format has been instrumental in considerably reducing the number of gulls that have/would have hatched and this has therefore had the effect of reducing the number of gulls returning to breed in the Dumfries area in subsequent years.”
There is just a year left to run in the scheme and a review is set to take place to “consider all options available to ensure effective measures are in place” to control gulls in the town centre.
A contractor is employed to carry out the egg and nest removal works under a licence issued by Scottish Natural Heritage.
In order to gauge the ongoing effectiveness of the project a biologist carries out surveys on the numbers of breeding pairs and advises on areas that may require more intensive clearance.
And a task force meet each year before and after the breeding season to evaluate the successes of the scheme and to identify modifications which may be required.
The report added: “The scheme is intended to reduce the number of gulls breeding in Dumfries town centre and thereby reduce the incidences of aggressive behaviour by gulls in the town centre area.”

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