MORE than 2500 pigeons have been shot dead in the Bathurst CBD in the past six years as part of council programs to reduce the city's pest bird population.
And a further 1124 have been trapped and killed as Bathurst Regional Council has trialled a range of management strategies.
A report to councillors by environmental planning and building services director Neil Southorn has provided an update on council's pest bird management strategy, including a breakdown on the success - or failure - of different measures.
Unsurprisingly, contract shooting has proved the most effective control strategy.
A total of 2587 pigeons have been shot by contractors on 15 separate occasions since July 2013, with the most recent shoot held earlier this month when another 118 birds were killed.
The contract shooter targeted birds roosting at 19 businesses and three council facilities in the latest cull, adding to what Mr Southorn called the "ongoing success" of the shooting program.
"Council has continued to employ this method since the program's commencement," his report states.
"Birds, however, can move from business locations to residential or tenanted properties if the program is conducted too frequently.
"Therefore, council engages the contractor two-four times per year.
"When and how frequently is dependent upon the number of birds, where they are congregating and the availability of the contractor."
But not all strategies have proven as successful.
A targeted pigeon trapping program in Machattie Park in 2014 was the biggest failure, with not a single bird removed from the park.
Other management strategies have included the erection of "Don't Feed Pigeons" signs in the park, the installation of exclusion mesh and spikes at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum and the sale of about 400 nest boxes to members of the public.
Mr Southorn's report also addresses future options for council. They include:
- Birth control: Birth control feeders have not yet been approved for use in Australia but council plans to conduct trials when they become available.
- Distress callers: Callers that emit an alarm to disperse large congregations of birds. Council has purchased a caller but is yet to conduct a trial.
- Bird tape, hot wire: Works similar to a livestock electric fence, emitting an electric pulse every two seconds to give birds a minor shock if they land on it.
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