Yellow-legged seagulls in flight, Source: Depositphotos

Drones in Porto will spray seagull eggs with oil to discourage breeding

Drones in Porto will spray seagull eggs with oil to discourage breeding

The birds are seen as a considerable nuisance in the entire metropolitan area

The Porto Metropolitan Area (AMP) announced that it has a 4-pillar action plan that aims to reduce the presence of seagulls in its public spaces. One of these pillars is the usage of drones to discover hard-to-reach bird nests, which will be sprayed with oil as a way of preventing the hatching of embryos.

Apparently, according to Diario de Noticias, that method is inspired by a similar measure used in Nice (France), which involved the application of cooking oil or paraffin to create a layer on the shell that prevents gaseous exchanges between the interior and exterior of the egg.

The officials argue that the advantage of the techie method is that on one hand, it provides more safety for employees, who normally have to climb to remove the eggs manually from the nests. On the other hand, if the eggs are removed or broken the birds lay new ones as a replacement.

The nesting control programme is set to take place during the breeding season of the yellow-legged seagull (Larus michahelis), species that are considered to have experienced an overpopulation locally and as a result, is creating a nuisance and environmental disorder. The breeding season takes place between early April and early June.

The other pillars of the control programme

The three remaining pillars of the plan are "obtaining a general license from the ICNF [Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests] to control urban seagulls", "making the AMP less attractive for these birds" and "ensuring the continuity of the action and periodic review thereof".

The action plan also advocates the preparation or revision of manuals of good practices for the main feeding places for seagulls (such as markets, restaurants, boats or landfills), correct management of organic waste and non-feeding of the animals, through the awareness of the population.

There is an open possibility that fines for those people who feed seagulls may also be imposed.



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