According to the document, the plan covers four pillars, one of which "prevents and minimises the reproduction in the urban space of the AMP", in which the plan proposes, "as a method of controlling the nesting of the seagulls, the application of oil to eggs using adapted drones".
The solution is proposed "given the difficulty of accessing many of the roofs of the cities in the study, and given the efficiency demonstrated in making eggs unfeasible through the application of waterproofing oil".
Involved in the plan are the municipalities of Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Matosinhos, Vila do Conde and Póvoa de Varzim, which participated in the work carried out in 2021 and 2022 by the Floradata consortium and Wedotech, with general coordination by Paulo Alves.
"This method, in addition to circumventing issues of safe access to the nests, reducing the risk of accidents, reduces the risk of gulls performing replacement postures (as demonstrated in the present study)".
The experiment is inspired by the one in Nice (France) and consists of "the use of paraffin or cooking oil on the eggs, to create a layer that prevents gaseous exchanges between the embryo and the exterior", making it unfeasible.
On roofs with easy access, "other nesting control methods", such as removing nests or removing eggs, "could be investigated on a large scale, having, however, to be repeated every two weeks, during the months April and May", to avoid replacement by birds.
The action plan establishes that "each municipality should develop a nesting control program" for the yellow-legged gull ('Larus michahellis'), the most frequent species, "and this program should take place during the breeding season (between early April and late May/early June).
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 gulls", "making the AMP less attractive for gulls" and "ensuring the continuity of the action and periodic review thereof".
To act in extreme cases, "municipalities must obtain an exceptional license from the ICNF to capture and kill urban seagulls in situations of extreme aggression", such as "psychopathic" seagulls, with aggressive and repetitive behaviour.
The action plan also advocates the preparation or revision of manuals of good practices for the main feeding places for seagulls (such as auctions, restaurants, boats or landfills) correct management of organic waste, and non-feeding of the birds, through the awareness of the population.
The possibility of implementing, "eventually, penalties" for those who feed seagulls remains open.
"This requires clear rules, consistency in action, and transparency in processes. The priority should be in cases of feeding in housing (windows, balconies, terraces), and in cases of continued feeding on public roads (containers with food for feral cats and /or seagulls, for example)".
Drones and fines in the fight against seagulls
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