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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Gull Deterrents Installed in Elgin for Second Year

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Ten sonic devices have been installed in Elgin ahead of gull breeding season.

Elgin Councillors agreed to the increased spend in 2024 of £27,000 from the Elgin Common Good Fund on devices that deter the birds from nesting and breeding.

Eight devices were used last year, after a pilot in 2022, which led to a significant reduction in nesting throughout Elgin.

A further two devices will be installed this year to cover other identified ‘hot spot’ areas.

Lasering will also be carried out to several council housing areas in Elgin, Forres, Lossiemouth and Buckie as part of the council’s wider gull prevention measures throughout Moray.  

The devices, which are sited across Elgin, don’t hurt the birds and will be in place for around 10-12 weeks from early April.

Rob Teasdale, Managing Director of Specialist Vermin Control, the company providing the devices, said:

“We’re providing one of the ten devices at no charge and will supplement them by flying two hawks in the areas in early mornings and weekends, outwith school hours so we can fully target the problem areas.

“We’ve tweaked the zones and number of deterrents this year and, while no method is 100% effective or guaranteed, the results we saw last year suggest these tools the council are deploying are having a positive impact on the gull issue in Elgin.”

Cllr John Divers (Elgin City South), said:

“We learned from the results of last year’s device installation, use of the hawk and lasers that the number of nests dropped significantly.

“This has started the process of breaking the nesting and breeding cycle, although it can take time for the full impact to be seen.

“I’m pleased we’re making further progress, all of which is within the parameters of guidance from NatureScot.

“This can only be a positive step towards seeing a further breaking of the nesting and breeding cycle.”

Cllr Graham Leadbitter (Elgin City South), added:

“Although Moray Council has no statutory duty to act against gulls, given the number of gull-related issues all Elgin Councillors receive I’m pleased we’ve been able to agree the use of Common Good Funding for this again.

“I’d encourage everyone to play their part now by taking preventative measures, such as clearing moss from roofs and avoiding feeding gulls to further discourage them from nesting in Elgin.”

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