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The problem of pigeons in cities
Nikolas Mantzaris, environmentalist - town planner

The article deals with the problems caused by the high concentrations of pigeons in urban areas. Such problems arise in almost every major city, in Greece and abroad. The adverse effects due to their high concentration are of several forms. First of all, they are health-related since various diseases or fungous infections can be transmitted to humans or animals through contact or because of their accumulated manure. Pigeons also carry various parasites. Even cases of epidemics have been reported. Problems may also be of an aesthetic nature or related to noise. The manure of pigeons is of a corrosive nature, and structures or items covered by it may see their life seriously diminish. Environmental, health and financial costs incurred because of the presence of pigeons are not negligible.

Various methods of combating pigeon concentrations have been tried in various cities or spaces, with varying results. The method chosen has to be adapted to the scale of the space and the particular construction characteristics. Such methods include netting, installation of wires on buildings, limiting access to food (including better waste collection and administrative measures), the presence of hawks etc. A long-term effective method starting to be used in various cities is the construction of artificial roosting places so that the eggs laid can be removed and, thus, the pigeons' population reduced. Local authorities in Greece should also start to explore ways of handling this issue.

nicholasmantzaris@hotmail.com 

23/02/2007
Echoe


At San Marco Church, Venice, a pigeon was recently found nailed dead on the spikes of the special bird wire nettings mounted across the main buildings of the city in order to keep birds off site. From a glance at the attached photo shown here we are wondering what is the real outcome of the above chosen solution to this issue.

MOnuMENTA

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The problems created by their presence are connected mainly to their large gatherings
Pigeons can be found carefree on Erextheio
Waste collection as an opportunity for the pigeons to feed themselves
A sign at Trafalgar Square in London prohibits the feeding of pigeons