23 May 2007
A three-week trial cull of feral pigeons on central Hamilton bridges will begin on Monday, 28 May 2007.
Victoria, Claudelands and Fairfield Bridges have become overpopulated by feral pigeons. The impetus behind the cull is to relieve heavy fouling of river walkway areas that sit beneath these bridges. Pigeon fouling causes a build-up of excrement that is unsanitary and over time, the high acid content of pigeon droppings can cause damage to bridge concrete and steelwork.
Council has engaged a professional pest management agency to carry out the cull using quiet air rifles on areas of Victoria, Claudelands and Fairfield bridges that overhang the river walkways. Victoria Bridge hosts the highest concentration of pigeons so three days have been dedicated to this area. The schedule for the cull operation is:
These dates are dependent on weather conditions. If rain causes delays, the cull will be rescheduled for the next available Monday or Tuesday.
Because the cull is concentrated on areas of the bridges over the river walkways, it will not encroach on riverfront residences or businesses. All fallen birds will be collected and disposed of by Council's pest management agency.
Council considered several pigeon control options and culling was identified as the most effective method. The $5000 pigeon cull operation is part of Council's bridge maintenance programme and is being trialled to measure its effectiveness. In arranging the cull operation, Council has liaised with the Hamilton SPCA and pigeon clubs.
Council is distributing information brochures to residences and businesses facing onto the river and pedestrians on the river walkways today and tomorrow. There will also be signage placed along the river walkways between the three bridges to advise patrons of the times and dates of the cull.
Following the cull operation, bridge roosting areas will be water-blasted to remove nests and excrement on the river walkways will be thoroughly cleaned and removed.
Council will monitor the targeted bridge areas for six months following the cull and decide whether a further cull or alternative pest control method is required after this period.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
NAME: Naomi Reynolds
DESIGNATION: Communication Advisor
TEL (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6726
MOBILE: 027 413 3448
FAX (DIRECT): 0 7 838 6761