Dump populations
Larus fuscus

My Book

Here is abstract of my Herring Gulls at dumps -book..

Some more in English see my Euring-2003-poster


Juvaste Risto, North Karelia Polytechnic, Environmental technology

LIVING WITH HERRING GULLS - populations, various impacts and management

Based on Lic. Thesis, 128 pp., January 2002, Language: Finnish

Keywords: gulls, ringing, rubbish dump, population analysis, gull management, environmental impact, salmonella, refuse tip, fish parasites, education, environmental technology

This publication contains the lic. thesis “Herring Gulls at rubbish dumps - populations, various impacts and management”, University of Joensuu (biology, October 2001). The problems and management of Herring Gulls at rubbish dumps were studied in this thesis of environmental technology.  The study was divided into three different parts. Population analysis and read rings (i.e. individual colour rings) were used to study the Herring Gulls at the rubbish dump of Joensuu during 1995 - 2000. It was found out that the total weekly numbers of gull individuals were almost ten times higher than the maximum numbers of gulls, which were seen present. At the peak of the spring migration, the estimate of different birds at the dump in a week was as high as 12.210 individuals. The total amount of Herring Gulls visiting the Joensuu dump during the year 2000 was estimated to have been over 20.000 birds. In addition, the resident times of different age groups and subpopulations of Herring Gulls were studied.

In the second part, the environmental problems connected to the Herring Gulls feeding at dumps were studied. It was shown that there exists actually no risk of salmonella infections from gulls. The gulls feeding at rubbish dumps do not harm fish populations. In the third part, the possibilities to manage gulls at dumps were studied. Shooting has been shown an ineffective and unethical method to decrease the gull numbers. It is also a risk to the threatened gull species, which are also feeding at dumps. The use of different dispersal methods or nettings are alternatives to culling. With these activities the numbers of Herring Gulls at the dumps of Kuopio and Lahti were decreased into a third.

The environmental impacts connected to gulls at dumps seem to be overdone in the media. The gulls can be seen as nuisances, which have positive impacts, too. The situation of refuse feeding gulls will change dramatically in 2005, when the new waste management regulations come into use. At the moment there is no need for exceptions from the EU-based breeding protection.  

On the basis of this study a multi-scientific educational whole has been generated. You can contact me for additional material and discussions rr(ät)