Are seagulls a protected species?

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Are seagulls a protected species?

While seagulls were once a tradition reserved for trips to the beach, their increasing presence in urban areas hasn’t gone unnoticed. And more often than not they can become problematic for home and business owners who may want to know how to get rid of seagulls.

Experts say the reason we’re seeing more of these birds in towns and cities is because they’re safer places for them to live. By nesting on the roofs of office buildings and houses, it means that seagulls can avoid predators such as foxes. As a result, their chicks are less likely to come to harm so from a survival perspective, it completely makes sense.

It’s also argued that food waste found in landfill sites and discarded on urban streets provides a ready supply of meals for them. As traditional food sources are declining, seagulls are quite simply taking advantage of our wastefulness.

While their move to urban areas is perfectly logical, it can cause issues for humans. Seagulls have a reputation for being aggressive, particularly in spring and summer when they breed and raise their young.

They pose a number of other issues as well:

  • Their droppings can destroy buildings and cause trip hazards when slippery.
  • They’re noisy.
  • They dislodge roof tiles and leave debris from their nests in drains and gutters. This can cause blockages and problems with flooding when heavy rainfall occurs.
  • They have been known to return to their nests with cigarettes which are still lit. Naturally, this is a big fire hazard.
  • They carry ectoparasites such as mites. These can be transferred to humans and cause diseases including Ornithosis, E.Coli and Salmonella. Their molted feathers can also cause respiratory problems and their droppings can lead to serious infections.
  • A number of insects such as bird mites, textile beetles and fleas are attracted to nesting and roosting sites so you can guarantee that in time, these creatures will also make your premises their home.

While there are plenty of reasons you may not want seagulls loitering around your home or business premises, you shouldn’t take matters into your own hands. All species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

This makes it illegal to intentionally or, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, recklessly injure or kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, it’s also illegal to prevent birds from accessing their nest and in Northern Ireland, it’s illegal to disturb any nesting bird.

In addition, the Mediterranean gull is protected under Schedule 1 of both acts. This makes it illegal to intentionally or recklessly disturb the birds at or close to their nest or to disturb their dependent young.

The law does however recognise that in certain circumstances, seagull control and prevention services may be necessary. Simple nuisance or minor damage to property are not legally sanctioned reasons to kill gulls however.

If you have a seagull infestation, please feel free to get in touch with Prokill by filling in an online form or calling on 0800 328 9354. We will be able to advise you accordingly as well as provide tips on how to prevent an infestation occurring in the first place.

 

 

 

By |April 15th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

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