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The Efficiency of an Integrated Program Using Falconry to Deter Gulls from Landfills.

Published on Apr 10, 2015in Animal2.026
· DOI :10.3390/ani5020214
Ericka Thiériot3
Estimated H-index: 3
,
Martin Patenaude-Monette5
Estimated H-index: 5
+ 1 AuthorsJean-François Giroux25
Estimated H-index: 25
Abstract
Gulls are commonly attracted to landfills, and managers are often required to implement cost-effective and socially accepted deterrence programs. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive program that integrated the use of trained birds of prey, pyrotechnics, and playback of gull distress calls at a landfill located close to a large ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) colony near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We used long-term survey data on bird use of the landfill, conducted behavioral observations of gulls during one season and tracked birds fitted with GPS data loggers. We also carried out observations at another landfill located farther from the colony, where less refuse was brought and where a limited culling program was conducted. The integrated program based on falconry resulted in a 98% decrease in the annual total number of gulls counted each day between 1995 and 2014. A separate study indicated that the local breeding population of ring-billed gulls increased and then declined during this period but remained relatively large. In 2010, there was an average (±SE) of 59 ± 15 gulls/day using the site with falconry and only 0.4% ± 0.2% of these birds were feeding. At the other site, there was an average of 347 ± 55 gulls/day and 13% ± 3% were feeding. Twenty-two gulls tracked from the colony made 41 trips towards the landfills: twenty-five percent of the trips that passed by the site with falconry resulted in a stopover that lasted 22 ± 7 min compared to 85% at the other landfill lasting 63 ± 15 min. We concluded that the integrated program using falconry, which we consider more socially acceptable than selective culling, was effective in reducing the number of gulls at the landfill.
  • References (25)
  • Citations (2)
References25
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#1Jean-François Giroux (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal)H-Index: 25
#2Martin Patenaude-Monette (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal)H-Index: 5
Last. Pierre MolinaH-Index: 3
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Abstract. Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) were rare at the beginning of the 20th century, possibly because of intensive exploitation. Once they became protected in 1916, their numbers increased throughout eastern North America, reaching a maximum of 875,000 breeding pairs around 1990. Since then, an overall decline of 19% has been recorded in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River while their numbers tripled in Atlantic Canada. The largest concentrations are still found on the Great L...
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#1Martin Patenaude-Monette (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal)H-Index: 5
#2Marc Bélisle (Université de Sherbrooke)H-Index: 19
Last. Jean-François Giroux (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal)H-Index: 25
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Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to...
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#1Ericka Thiériot (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal)H-Index: 3
#2Pierre MolinaH-Index: 3
Last. Jean-François Giroux (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal)H-Index: 25
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Abstract Landfill managers often need to implement scaring programmes to deter gulls from feeding at their sites because the birds can be a significant nuisance for both site employees and residents of the surrounding area. Our objective was to assess the efficiency of firing rubber shots, a method assumed to be non-lethal but never tested in a bird deterrence context. This method was compared to selective culling, a well-known lethal technique that some people find ethically unacceptable. Both ...
12 CitationsSource
#1Michael A. Weston (Deakin University)H-Index: 28
#2Emily M. McLeod (VU: Victoria University, Australia)H-Index: 5
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Disturbance – the response of birds to a stimulus such as the presence of a person – is considered a conservation threat for some Australian birds. The distance at which a bird flees from perceived danger is defined as the flight-initiation distance (FID), and could be used to designate separation distances between birds and stimuli that might cause disturbance. We review the known FIDs for Australian birds, and report FIDs for 250 species. Most FIDs are from south-eastern Australia, and almost ...
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#1Andrew T. Baxter (Central Science Laboratory)H-Index: 5
#2John Allan (Central Science Laboratory)H-Index: 7
Scavenging bird deterrence frequently fails due to habituation. We demonstrated such habituation by gulls and corvids to blank rounds used in a dawn-to-dusk regime at a landfill site in southern England. We then combined blank rounds with live rounds and shot birds whenever they attempted to land. Gull numbers declined significantly despite only 1.9% of the population being shot. Corvid numbers returned to precontrol levels despite 52.7% of the population being shot. We suggest that shooting red...
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#1Cecilia SoldatiniH-Index: 10
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Abstract During recent decades, populations of some gull species have dramatically increased causing management problems; as a result of this, a number of deterring systems have been implemented. In this study, three commonly used scaring methods (visual, acoustic, falconry) were tested at a refuse dump. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the methods and, in particular, habituation occurrence, an index was developed that can be used for comparing such methods and for evaluating their employmen...
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#1Aonghais S.C.P. Cook (Newcastle University)H-Index: 9
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Birds feeding on landfill sites cause problems in terms of nuisance to neighbors, flight safety, a threat to public health, and affecting the day to day site operation. A number of control measures exist to deter problem species; however, research into their effectiveness across sites and for multiple species has been limited. We use a modeling approach in order to assess the effectiveness of nine techniques — pyrotechnics, hand-held distress calls, static distress calls, blank ammunition, a com...
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The global dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) is one of the most important issues for current medicine, having serious implications for public health. Particular concern has been raised regarding the increasing occurrence of multidrug-resistant bacteria in the environment and wildlife. Wild animals inhabiting human-influenced environments can easily acquire ARB. Synanthropic animals that tend to live close to humans and seek food in cities, landfills or areas with intensive agr...
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