Sea gulls to be put to sleep in summer Skip to content

Sea gulls to be put to sleep in summer

The local authorities in Iceland’s capital region were granted permission by the Environment and Food Agency in Iceland to experiment with a medicine designed to put Lesser Black-backed Gulls to sleep.

Bird expert Dr. Arnór Th. Sigfússon has worked on this case on behalf of the local authorities and will conduct the experiment, Morgunbladid reports.

Sigfússon said this method has been used abroad to decrease the population of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus), which are believed to be too numerous in Iceland.

The medicine will be inserted into bread crumbs which are placed in the sea gulls’ nests. The gulls eat the crumbs and fall asleep.

The sleeping gulls are killed with a painless method. Another portion of bread crumbs is placed in the nests for the dead sea gulls’ mates, which are also killed.

Thereafter all remaining bread crumbs are removed so other birds won’t eat them. But should that happen, the birds just sleep for awhile and wake up unharmed.

Sigfússon said the experiment will be conducted during a three-day period in June in different nesting grounds that will be selected after a bird count.

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