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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.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.

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

Appearance of the tactile gel (a) and the optical gel (b) after 23 days of application. Due to the adhesive effect numerous insects, feathers, dust and feces became stuck in the gels. The gluey optical gel got stuck on the wall underneath the experimental shelf when the pigeons stepped into the repellent and flew off pulling long adhesive strings. These remains were extremely difficult to remove.
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animals-04-00001-f003: Appearance of the tactile gel (a) and the optical gel (b) after 23 days of application. Due to the adhesive effect numerous insects, feathers, dust and feces became stuck in the gels. The gluey optical gel got stuck on the wall underneath the experimental shelf when the pigeons stepped into the repellent and flew off pulling long adhesive strings. These remains were extremely difficult to remove.

Mentions: As to the animal welfare point of view we could observe several pigeons stepping into the gels, either directly when landing onto the experimental shelves or subsequently after landing next to the shelves. Already after a short period of time, both gels looked rather unesthetic and messy due to a variety of insects, feathers and dirt that become stuck in the repellents either directly or in the remains on the shelves (Figure 3).


Effectiveness of Gel Repellents on Feral Pigeons.

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

Appearance of the tactile gel (a) and the optical gel (b) after 23 days of application. Due to the adhesive effect numerous insects, feathers, dust and feces became stuck in the gels. The gluey optical gel got stuck on the wall underneath the experimental shelf when the pigeons stepped into the repellent and flew off pulling long adhesive strings. These remains were extremely difficult to remove.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

animals-04-00001-f003: Appearance of the tactile gel (a) and the optical gel (b) after 23 days of application. Due to the adhesive effect numerous insects, feathers, dust and feces became stuck in the gels. The gluey optical gel got stuck on the wall underneath the experimental shelf when the pigeons stepped into the repellent and flew off pulling long adhesive strings. These remains were extremely difficult to remove.
Mentions: As to the animal welfare point of view we could observe several pigeons stepping into the gels, either directly when landing onto the experimental shelves or subsequently after landing next to the shelves. Already after a short period of time, both gels looked rather unesthetic and messy due to a variety of insects, feathers and dirt that become stuck in the repellents either directly or in the remains on the shelves (Figure 3).

Bottom Line: This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint.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.

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