Pigeon Nuisance - discussion and solutions
The Landelijke Werkgroep Duivenoverlast offers advice to individuals, companies, local authorities and other governing agencies on effective and animal-friendly methods to reduce and prevent the nuisance caused by pigeons in cities.
The Landelijke Werkgroep Duivenoverlast is keen to stress that the capture and killing of pigeons does not lead to a structural alleviation of damage and nuisance caused by pigeons. Capturing and killing pigeons just creates space that will quickly be taken up by new animals. Because the remaining animals are driven to reproduce more rapidly after a capture ‘raid’, the population may even grow to a higher level than before. This has been suggested by scientific studies by the ‘Wetenschapswinkel Biologie’ at the University of Utrecht, by the ‘Bureau Stadsnatuur’ in Rotterdam, as well as by research by the Urban Wildlife Society. Based on information provided by the Urban Wildlife Society, the following chart can be drawn.
The population cyclus of urban pigeons, based on D.L. Roth (1995).
Control or Delete, a comparative study on the possibilities for reducing nuisance caused by urban pigeons. Drs. D. Bos (ª Msc), bureau Stadsnatuur Rotterdam (urban nature bureau), March 2000
Pigeons in the city, a literature study on effective and animal-friendly methods for reducing nuisance caused by pigeons in cities; Drs. I. van Veen (ª Msc), Wetenschapswinkel Biologie (biological science transfer agency), Universiteit Utrecht, June 2001. An English summary is available on their website. Clicking here will take you to the website, but it's in Dutch, so you'll have to click your way further through it to get to your English summary: click on “Thematisch Overzicht” in the menu bar on the left hand side of the page. On the page titled Thematisch Overzicht, select “Dierenwelzijn” (animal welfare). The report is titled, in Dutch, “Duiven in de stad”. At the bottom of the entry, there is a link to the English summary.
Bird Population Fluctuation. Chart by D. Roth, The Urban Wildlife Society, 85007 Phoenix, AZ (USA), 1995..
Both the Bureau Stadsnatuur
(urban nature bureau) of Rotterdam and the Wetenschapswinkel Biologie
(biological science transfer agency) at the University of Utrecht conclude
that instead of capturing and killing pigeons, another combination of
measures is not only more effective but also more animal-friendly in reducing
and preventing nuisance caused by pigeons. Both sources recommend placing
low current wiring, pins and nets at locations where pigeons are unwanted.
At the same time, pigeons can be guided towards using accommodation that
is created for them in the vicinity of nuisance-intensive locations. This
method is already being applied with success in many cities in Germany.
The pigeon accommodation takes the form of a ‘loft’, in which
they can feed, drink and brood. The eggs can be replaced by plaster eggs.
In this way, the population can be controlled and the nuisance they previously
caused in an area is removed.
Scientific research in Germany and the Netherlands, a.o. by Dr. G.M. Dorrestein, professor of pathology at the University of Utrecht, has shown that postal pigeons returned to wild present next to no risk to public health. Paratyphus, tuberculosis and parrot disease are not transmitted by pigeons. A form of bird tuberculosis that can occur in pigeons is not harmful to humans! Only daily intensive contact with pigeons, their feathers and their excrement can lead to a ‘pigeon keeper’s lung’, a well treatable form of allergy that affects mainly pigeon keepers.
(See also this recent article.) There will only be a chance of containing the growth of urban pigeon populations if the influx of postal pigeons is contained.
This website has been made possible with kind financial support of the Nederlandse Stichting voor Hulp aan Dieren (Dutch Foundation for Helping Animals), Stichting Bouwstenen voor de Dierenbescherming (The Foundation for Support for Animal Protection) and the Wilhelmina Davyt-Keuchenius Foundation.
© 2003-2007 Landelijke Werkgroep Duivenoverlast
Laatst gewijzigd: Q4 2006