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Stop gulls nesting on your rooftop

27 March 2012

The Department of the Environment’s Natural Environment Officer, David Tipping, said that every year a number of rooftops become home to nesting seagulls. Householders needed to act before May, when the eggs would be hatching, to encourage the gulls back to their natural habitat.

“If we can discourage roof nesting gulls by protecting our roofs and stop food from being available on the streets, herring gulls will eventually return to a more natural diet. In time, these actions will lead to birds returning to the cliffs and a reduction in urban gull populations,” he said.

The following actions could help stop seagulls nesting in your area:

  • check your roof over the coming weeks especially if seagulls have nested in your area in the past. Gulls start defining their territories in February
  • if you have gulls active on your roof get a contractor to erect preventative measures which will stop the birds from nesting.
  • advise your neighbours if you see gulls on their roof as a neighbour’s nest may well affect you. Consider this from the wider community perspective
  • commercial properties should also check their roofs
  • only take action through a controller with the appropriate licence
  • protect your domestic rubbish and do not feed seagulls
  • early action provides simpler and less traumatic pest control options and works better
  • act safely and consider others

Mr Tipping said that nesting gulls can only be removed by a pest controller who has the relevant license. If nothing is done by May, the eggs will have hatched and removing the gulls means killing chicks. “This would cause significant and unnecessary distress to the gulls and is illegal without a specific licence,” he said.

Herring gull numbers are declining around the world and the birds have an amber listed conservation status in Jersey. It is for this reason that all seagulls, including their nests, eggs and chicks are protected by the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000.

“The disruption or removal of an active nest is not normally possible and would require a specific license issued by the Department of the Environment. Preventative action prior to the nesting season is the best and most effective way of protecting your roof and can save money and considerable inconvenience,” said Mr Tipping.

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