THE decision to cull Bathurst's pigeon population was the right move, mayor Bobby Bourke has said.
His comments come after Bathurst Regional Council collated its figures for the last financial year, finding that 642 pigeons had been killed.
There were 187 culled in June/July 2020, the same number in October/November 2020, 136 in March 2021, and 132 in May/June 2021.
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Cr Bourke said the decrease was a positive sign.
"It looks like we're controlling them, we haven't eradicated them yet," he said.
"The count shows that the numbers are getting lower."
Council began its pigeon culling program in 2012 as a service to all property owners in the central business district, who were being impacted by the birds, which are considered a pest.
A licensed professional shooter is regularly engaged by council to use a special air rifle and ammunition to cull pigeons.
The method has previously been described by council as "accurate and humane".
More than 2500 pigeons were shot from the beginning of the program to mid-2019, with the number now in excess of 3000.
Cr Bourke said that the pigeon population was out of control and causing a lot of problems before council's program was introduced.
"It was just too bad. I would notice it around the CBD. They were just flocking onto buildings, especially around the front of the fossil museum. They were leaving a hell of a mess there, and if that's just one spot, you can imagine what other spots were like," he said.
"It was a big burden on businesses to clean it up each time, especially with the museum and the post office, it had to be cleaned up on a regular basis."
Official numbers aside, Cr Bourke said he was seeing less pigeons around the CBD now, helping property owners to saving time and money, as well as protecting buildings.
"I'm not seeing as many. It's just been a good program, numbers are down, and it means a lot of the buildings, all the faeces they leave, it's less, and it's better for our historical buildings that are around the CBD," he said.
"A lot of businesses have taken precautions to put spikes and different other measures and I think, working together, they have come to a stage where they can be controlled a bit.
While the program has been working, he said it's not time for it to end.
"I think it has been a successful program, but it needs to continue," Cr Bourke said.
He encouraged residents to contact council if they see an influx in pigeons in the CBD.
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