3061E33E00000578-3408701-While_smog_can_cause_heart_disease_lung_cancer_and_high_blood_pr-a-38_1453309207139After years of war with the pigeons, Venice is now in war with the seagulls. The birds have become very aggressive. At one point last summer they’ve attacked a man working on a rooftop. Recently, the seagulls have become so brave that they jump on trays carried by the waiters in Piazza San Marco. They even hunt and kill pigeons for food. The point is, the new treat on the main Piazza in Venice comes from the seagulls who are no longer scared from humans and do not fear our reaction against them.

The numbers of pigeons in Venice have fallen sharply when a few years ago the city banned the sale of grains. However, seagulls are the new phenomenon that is gradually becoming even worse then the pigeons. You can see them early in the morning roaming around the trashcans, opening bags of garbage and eating leftovers, before the sweepers are able to pick them up.

gabbiani e colombi ai tavolini del caffe florianNow with the arrival of spring, the eggs hatch and with little to satisfy their hunger, the problem is getting greater. Finding a solution from the city, the region and the local health organization is urgently needed. Eighty nests have been found in the city since 2006 and their number has grown greatly since then. Now there are too many to be destroyed at once. “In Piazza San Marco which is a limited space you might think is the first place to begin the destruction – says Giuseppe Cherubini who is responsible for Hunting and Fishing of the Region – the nests are in the Basilica, in the Ducal Palace and the Magistrates, we are willing to give permission for their removal immediately.” The task however is not that easy. There has been even a proposal to introduce falcons or hawks that could naturally eliminate the great number of seagulls. However, an animal and birds expert, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “In Italy there are regulatory issues, the herring gull is a protected species.” According to other experts it is not easy to use hawks in a small space as the San Marco Square.

So, for now the problem will still stay unresolved in Venice. There is a new war between pigeons, seagulls and humans and so far the seagulls are winning. It seems that the easiest solution is to limit the food consumption on the Piazza San Marco to only designated areas and bars. Besides, who wants to walk around people who are using the square for a picnic site, spreading blankets and baskets with food?


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