Effectiveness of an Overhead Wire Barrier in Deterring Gulls from Feeding at a Sanitary Landfill,
LGL LTD TORONTO (ONTARIO)
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On behalf of Browning-Ferris Industries BFI, we assessed the effectiveness of fine parallel overhead wires in deterring herring and ring-billed gulls from landing at an active sanitary landfill in Niagara Falls, N.Y. BFI was responsible for design and installation of the wire system LGL Ltd. was responsible for the study of wire effectiveness from January to December 1983. The study design consisted of alternating periods with and without wires over the active portion of the test landfill, plus control observations at two other landfills. Overhead wires at 12 m 40 ft spacing deterred most herring gulls from feeding. Ring-billed gulls were largely deterred by wires at 12 m spacing when limited garbage was present, but penetrated wires at 12 m spacing when attracted by large amounts of garbage. Wires at 6 m 20 ft spacing deterred most ring-billed gulls in late spring even with large amounts of garbage present. In summer, when peak numbers of gulls visit landfill sites in the area, numbers of feeding ring-billed gulls were substantially reduced by wires 6 m apart, but the deterrent effect was less marked than at other seasons. A large proportion of gulls feeding under the wires in summer were young-of-the-year.