The Environmental Office for the Cadiz local government has decided to take decisive action against the growing numbers of seagulls in the city and its surrounding areas. The progressive increase in the population of seagulls in the bay of Cadiz and areas such as beaches, rubbish tips and fishing ports as well as other urban zones mean that these birds are now considered to be a menace. The last time a count of the seagull population was made 4000 pairs were recorded.
The seagulls are now considered to be a problem due to damage to buildings as well as their negative effect on some species of indigenous plants and some species of animals. The first problems were recorded five years ago and the survival and reproduction rate of this particular type of seagull mean that they now constitute a serious problem for the authorities.
In just a few years the population of seagulls has almost tripled and there are now estimated to be thousands of these birds in Cadiz. The local government has received complaints from several districts regarding the problems that they are causing.
Sometimes the seagulls are aggressive in their search for food and have been known to attack school playgrounds.
Measures taken against the massive increase in seagulls include the removal of nests, the destruction of eggs (almost 15,000 have been destroyed so far) and even the shooting of seagulls in their favourite feeding grounds such as the rubbish tips. Seagulls have also been culled in urban areas of Cadiz such La Línea, Los Barrios and Algeciras. Now there are plans to carry out a study to see whether these measures have been effective in reducing the population of seagulls.