Birds of prey are to be used to scare nuisance seagulls and other pest scavenger birds away from a Galway landfill site.
The problem of seagulls and other pest birds is so great at the East Galway Landfill in Kilconnell, Galway County Council is looking for birds of prey to aid in curbing the nuisance.
The local authority has sought tenders for bird control services at the landfill site near Ballinasloe. The successful bidder will be asked to use deterrents, including birds of prey such as falcons and eagles, “to deter pest bird species form causing nuisance at the landfill site”.
In conjunction with the use of birds of prey, artificial deterrents such as balloons, kites and distress callers will be used to combat the problem of nuisance birds at the landfill.
The deterrents must be used when the contractor is on site, and when the contractor is not on site in order to comply with bird control conditions set-out in the waste licence for the facility.
Using birds of prey is considered an environmentally friendly way of combating the problem of seagulls and pest birds at landfill sites.
Gulls and other birds feeding at landfill waste sites can cause problems for neighbours of the site as well as to people working at the landfill, and flight paths.
According to the County Council, the successful company must fly birds of prey as a deterrent at the site every day that the contractor is present.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, scavenger birds such as starlings, crows, blackbirds, and gulls are most commonly associated with active landfills.
They can be a nuisance, transfer pathogens, litter and scraps to neighbouring areas and also be a hazard to aircraft. The EPA said, in its guidelines, that some birds resident on landfills are protected species and this protection must be respected at all times.
In recent weeks seagulls, in particular, have received bad press. In England, gulls have been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reason and the Prime Minister, David Cameron called for a ‘big conversation’ on aggressive menace gulls, which he encounters at Cornwall.
In Ireland, Fianna Fáil senator, Ned O’Sullivan last year said swooping seagulls were a scourge in Dublin, attacking young people and causing a raucous racket at night contributing to residents’ sleep deprivation.
His party colleague in the senate, Denis O’Donovan, last week called for a cull of seagulls because they were becoming a pest and nuisance.
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