On March 14, 2023 BIWFC presented the webinar, Use of fertility control (Nicarbazin) for the management of conflictive feral pigeon colonies, the Barcelona experience, featuring Dr. Carlos González Crespo (PhD), a postdoctoral researcher in the Center for Animal Disease Modeling and Surveillance (CADMS), University of California, Davis.
Living free in urban areas, feral pigeons have found a favorable environment with the conditions to have high fertility, thus leading to overcrowding, which causes thousands of millions in damages yearly. The management of overpopulated pigeon colonies presents numerous challenges, some are material such as differences in the structure of cities, but more important are the social challenges. For decades, several methods have been proposed and used, but no method seems to rise as effective to control overpopulated pigeon colonies. In recent decades, society’s concern about animal welfare has grown, and now demands non-lethal methods in the management of wildlife, especially in cities.
The management of feral pigeons in Barcelona, Spain, used to be carried out, like in many cities, by capture and elimination. However, as this method has been proven to be ineffective and the public concern about animal welfare has increased, in 2016, the Barcelona City Council decided to change the management strategy to include a fertility control method using Nicarbazin.
This webinar describes the experience carried out in Barcelona from 2017 to 2019 with an evaluation of the fertility control protocol. During these three years the strategy implemented was able to reduce the number of pigeons in the treated colonies by 55.26% at the end of the evaluation. The results of the experience in Barcelona provide animal management administrations and companies with a non-lethal protocol to control pigeon populations while respecting animal welfare.