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Effectiveness of Gel Repellents on Feral Pigeons.

Stock B, Haag-Wackernagel D - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint.The gels used an alleged tactile or visual aversion of the birds, reinforced by additional sensory cues.Both gels showed a restricted, transient repellent effect, but failed to prove the claimed complete effectiveness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Pestalozzistrasse 20, 4056 Basel, Switzerland. birte.stock@unibas.ch.

ABSTRACT
Millions of feral pigeons (Columba livia) live in close association with the human population in our cities. They pose serious health risks to humans and lead to high economic loss due to damage caused to buildings. Consequently, house owners and city authorities are not willing to allow pigeons on their buildings. While various avian repellents are regularly introduced onto the market, scientific proof of efficacy is lacking. This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint. The gels used an alleged tactile or visual aversion of the birds, reinforced by additional sensory cues. We mounted experimental shelves with the installed repellents in a pigeon loft and observed the behavior of free-living feral pigeons towards the systems. Both gels showed a restricted, transient repellent effect, but failed to prove the claimed complete effectiveness. Additionally, the gels' adhesive effect remains doubtful in view of animal welfare because gluing of plumage presents a risk to feral pigeons and also to other non-target birds. This study infers that both gels lack the promised complete efficacy, conflict with animal welfare concerns and are therefore not suitable for feral pigeon management in urban areas.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Feral pigeons’ (a) mean number of approaches per day and (b) mean time spent on the shelf in seconds per approach for the three phases pretrial, Days 1–7 and Days 8–26 of the contact gel experiment in Basel, Switzerland, during August–October 2012. Values are means and the segments indicate Bayesian 95% credible intervals. For the mean number of approaches, with n per phase being 3, 5 and 11 recorded days, respectively, a Quasi-Poissonmodel was used. For the mean time spent on the shelf a mixed model with the log-transformed time on the shelf as the outcome variable (results back transformed for the graph) phase as fixed factor, and day as random factor was used with n per phase being 70, 18 and 8, respectively.
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animals-04-00001-f001: Feral pigeons’ (a) mean number of approaches per day and (b) mean time spent on the shelf in seconds per approach for the three phases pretrial, Days 1–7 and Days 8–26 of the contact gel experiment in Basel, Switzerland, during August–October 2012. Values are means and the segments indicate Bayesian 95% credible intervals. For the mean number of approaches, with n per phase being 3, 5 and 11 recorded days, respectively, a Quasi-Poissonmodel was used. For the mean time spent on the shelf a mixed model with the log-transformed time on the shelf as the outcome variable (results back transformed for the graph) phase as fixed factor, and day as random factor was used with n per phase being 70, 18 and 8, respectively.

Mentions: Figure 1(a,b) shows the results of the contact gel experiment. The numbers of pigeon approaches to the shelves differed by phases. The highest number occurred to the shelves without repellent gel during the pretrial phase (70 approaches). We noted less approaches throughout trial Days 1–7 (18 approaches) and the least during trial Days 8–26 (eight approaches). During the pretrial phase, a mean of 23.3 approaches per day (14.4–37.0 Bayesian 95% credible interval), during trial Days 1–7 a mean of 3.6 (1.4–9.2) and during trial Days 8–26 a mean of 0.75 (0.18–2.95) approaches per day were recorded. The time spent on the experimental shelves during pretrial phase was significantly (or near significantly) longer than during both of the trial phases, but no significant difference occurred between trial Days 1–7 and 8–26 (Figure 1b). During the pretrial phase, the pigeons spent a mean time of 170 (77–367) seconds per landing on the shelf. Trial Days 1–7 showed a mean of 46 (16–123) seconds and trial Days 8–26 a mean of 56 (17–181) seconds per landing. Moreover, we observed only one approach during the pretrial phase that did not lead to a final landing. At this occasion the pigeon flew in the direction of an experimental shelf but turned away shortly before reaching it. In contrast, during trial phase all approaches led to a landing.


Effectiveness of Gel Repellents on Feral Pigeons.

Stock B, Haag-Wackernagel D - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Feral pigeons’ (a) mean number of approaches per day and (b) mean time spent on the shelf in seconds per approach for the three phases pretrial, Days 1–7 and Days 8–26 of the contact gel experiment in Basel, Switzerland, during August–October 2012. Values are means and the segments indicate Bayesian 95% credible intervals. For the mean number of approaches, with n per phase being 3, 5 and 11 recorded days, respectively, a Quasi-Poissonmodel was used. For the mean time spent on the shelf a mixed model with the log-transformed time on the shelf as the outcome variable (results back transformed for the graph) phase as fixed factor, and day as random factor was used with n per phase being 70, 18 and 8, respectively.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494298&req=5

animals-04-00001-f001: Feral pigeons’ (a) mean number of approaches per day and (b) mean time spent on the shelf in seconds per approach for the three phases pretrial, Days 1–7 and Days 8–26 of the contact gel experiment in Basel, Switzerland, during August–October 2012. Values are means and the segments indicate Bayesian 95% credible intervals. For the mean number of approaches, with n per phase being 3, 5 and 11 recorded days, respectively, a Quasi-Poissonmodel was used. For the mean time spent on the shelf a mixed model with the log-transformed time on the shelf as the outcome variable (results back transformed for the graph) phase as fixed factor, and day as random factor was used with n per phase being 70, 18 and 8, respectively.
Mentions: Figure 1(a,b) shows the results of the contact gel experiment. The numbers of pigeon approaches to the shelves differed by phases. The highest number occurred to the shelves without repellent gel during the pretrial phase (70 approaches). We noted less approaches throughout trial Days 1–7 (18 approaches) and the least during trial Days 8–26 (eight approaches). During the pretrial phase, a mean of 23.3 approaches per day (14.4–37.0 Bayesian 95% credible interval), during trial Days 1–7 a mean of 3.6 (1.4–9.2) and during trial Days 8–26 a mean of 0.75 (0.18–2.95) approaches per day were recorded. The time spent on the experimental shelves during pretrial phase was significantly (or near significantly) longer than during both of the trial phases, but no significant difference occurred between trial Days 1–7 and 8–26 (Figure 1b). During the pretrial phase, the pigeons spent a mean time of 170 (77–367) seconds per landing on the shelf. Trial Days 1–7 showed a mean of 46 (16–123) seconds and trial Days 8–26 a mean of 56 (17–181) seconds per landing. Moreover, we observed only one approach during the pretrial phase that did not lead to a final landing. At this occasion the pigeon flew in the direction of an experimental shelf but turned away shortly before reaching it. In contrast, during trial phase all approaches led to a landing.

Bottom Line: This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint.The gels used an alleged tactile or visual aversion of the birds, reinforced by additional sensory cues.Both gels showed a restricted, transient repellent effect, but failed to prove the claimed complete effectiveness.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, Pestalozzistrasse 20, 4056 Basel, Switzerland. birte.stock@unibas.ch.

ABSTRACT
Millions of feral pigeons (Columba livia) live in close association with the human population in our cities. They pose serious health risks to humans and lead to high economic loss due to damage caused to buildings. Consequently, house owners and city authorities are not willing to allow pigeons on their buildings. While various avian repellents are regularly introduced onto the market, scientific proof of efficacy is lacking. This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint. The gels used an alleged tactile or visual aversion of the birds, reinforced by additional sensory cues. We mounted experimental shelves with the installed repellents in a pigeon loft and observed the behavior of free-living feral pigeons towards the systems. Both gels showed a restricted, transient repellent effect, but failed to prove the claimed complete effectiveness. Additionally, the gels' adhesive effect remains doubtful in view of animal welfare because gluing of plumage presents a risk to feral pigeons and also to other non-target birds. This study infers that both gels lack the promised complete efficacy, conflict with animal welfare concerns and are therefore not suitable for feral pigeon management in urban areas.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus