26 March 2013
The Department of the Environment is urging householders to check roofs to prevent gulls nesting.
Every year in Jersey, a number of rooftops become home to nesting seagulls. These uninvited guests can make for an alarming experience and early preventative action is the best way to protect your roof.
Herring gulls are declining worldwide and are scheduled for protection under international agreement. In Jersey, their conservation status is amber, and seagulls, their nests, eggs and chicks are protected by the Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000.
No-one should disrupt or remove active nests unless they have a license issued by the Department of the Environment. The Department advises the most effective way to protect your roof is to prevent gulls nesting in the first place before the season begins, saving money and considerable inconvenience.
What can be done now?
- check your roof over the coming weeks, especially if seagulls have nested in your area in the past. Gulls started 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 is very likely to impact on you. Consider this from a communal perspective
- commercial properties need to be responsible and check their roofs
- take action only through a pest 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.
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 is not an acceptable solution as it causes unnecessary distress and is illegal without a licence.
If we can discourage roof nesting gulls by protecting our roofs and stopping food being available on the streets, herring gulls will eventually return to a more natural diet. In time they will return to the cliffs and we will see a reduction in urban gull populations.