To kill a flocking bird

Recreational shooters to be trialled in pigeon cull.

Recreational shooters to be trialled in pigeon cull.

PIGEON DAYS NUMBERED: A pigeon-culling programme involving shooting at breeding areas and poisoning is being considered to cut the large number of the birds in the central business district.

Recreational shooters using ammunition supplied by the council will be trialled by Gisborne District Council as it responds to complaints about feral pigeons in the central business district.

The council is also looking at using poison for an initial knockdown in case the shooting is not enough on its own.

The council’s environmental planning and regulations committee adopted a staff recommendation to use recreational shooters in the breeding grounds on the Poverty Bay Flats over a five-year period.

Up to $2000 of ammunition a year will be supplied from the biosecurity budget to support the cull and the biosecurity team will supervise shootings.

The poisoning alternative was added on the suggestion of Emerald Hotel Body Corporate representative Richard Jackson, who said the shooting programme would not work on its own.

A toxin, as was used at Gisborne Airport, would avoid the problem of dead and dying birds in the city centre.

Biosecurity team leader Phil Karaitiana said a previous poison operation had caused a public outcry as target and non-target birds were found dead in backyards of properties.

Mr Jackson said the toxin involved at the airport caused the birds to die over three days. They flew away to seek water and were not seen again. It was not known where they finally went.

Mr Karaitiana said staff would look at using the alternative toxin.

He told the council that targeted shooting on the rural fringe cropping grounds where the birds fed provided the best opportunity to carry out effective shotgun shooting.

There were recreational shooters who were prepared to undertake the task.

Shooters could relocate to morning and afternoon feeding sites.

As an example, he said 441 pigeons had been shot by one shooter over a period of 12 months.

He had received permission from landowners, who saw the benefits in it.

Benefits of pigeon poisoning outweigh a few dead sparrows

Karen Fenn said when five mating pairs could breed up to 400 birds in four years there was a huge problem in the city. It was also a health problem.

Rehette Stoltz said that when the council decided to replace the Phoenix palms in the city it should think of trees or plants that were not a natural home for pigeons. The palms were like the Bahamas for pigeons.

In response to a comment that other birds could be poisoned, committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said she had never seen tui and kereru in the central business district, mainly pigeons and sparrows.

She did not think anyone would mind a few less sparrows.

Environmental services and protection director Nick Zaman said staff had looked at alternatives and were happy to look at other options.

They were not saying the birds could be totally eradicated; that was unachievable. This was probably the best path in terms of what the council was to do.

Mrs Seymour said the council should be looking at an initial knockdown of the birds.

Malcolm MacLean said he would hate to see young people coming to town and seeing hundreds of birds flip-flopping around on the pavement.​

Recreational shooters using ammunition supplied by the council will be trialled by Gisborne District Council as it responds to complaints about feral pigeons in the central business district.

The council is also looking at using poison for an initial knockdown in case the shooting is not enough on its own.

The council’s environmental planning and regulations committee adopted a staff recommendation to use recreational shooters in the breeding grounds on the Poverty Bay Flats over a five-year period.

Up to $2000 of ammunition a year will be supplied from the biosecurity budget to support the cull and the biosecurity team will supervise shootings.

The poisoning alternative was added on the suggestion of Emerald Hotel Body Corporate representative Richard Jackson, who said the shooting programme would not work on its own.

A toxin, as was used at Gisborne Airport, would avoid the problem of dead and dying birds in the city centre.

Biosecurity team leader Phil Karaitiana said a previous poison operation had caused a public outcry as target and non-target birds were found dead in backyards of properties.

Mr Jackson said the toxin involved at the airport caused the birds to die over three days. They flew away to seek water and were not seen again. It was not known where they finally went.

Mr Karaitiana said staff would look at using the alternative toxin.

He told the council that targeted shooting on the rural fringe cropping grounds where the birds fed provided the best opportunity to carry out effective shotgun shooting.

There were recreational shooters who were prepared to undertake the task.

Shooters could relocate to morning and afternoon feeding sites.

As an example, he said 441 pigeons had been shot by one shooter over a period of 12 months.

He had received permission from landowners, who saw the benefits in it.

Benefits of pigeon poisoning outweigh a few dead sparrows

Karen Fenn said when five mating pairs could breed up to 400 birds in four years there was a huge problem in the city. It was also a health problem.

Rehette Stoltz said that when the council decided to replace the Phoenix palms in the city it should think of trees or plants that were not a natural home for pigeons. The palms were like the Bahamas for pigeons.

In response to a comment that other birds could be poisoned, committee chairwoman Pat Seymour said she had never seen tui and kereru in the central business district, mainly pigeons and sparrows.

She did not think anyone would mind a few less sparrows.

Environmental services and protection director Nick Zaman said staff had looked at alternatives and were happy to look at other options.

They were not saying the birds could be totally eradicated; that was unachievable. This was probably the best path in terms of what the council was to do.

Mrs Seymour said the council should be looking at an initial knockdown of the birds.

Malcolm MacLean said he would hate to see young people coming to town and seeing hundreds of birds flip-flopping around on the pavement.​

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you have a better understanding of the first encounters here between Maori and Europeans after the Tuia 250 Ki Turanga commemorations?