Tyne & Wear

Electric shocks plan to stop Quayside kittiwakes dying in netting

A kittiwake underneath netting Image copyright NCJMedia

Netting that has trapped and killed gulls landing on buildings on the Newcastle Quayside is to be replaced.

The council, businesses and animal welfare charities have been considering other forms of deterrent following reports some birds had suffered "horrible deaths" entangled in nets.

They have now decided to remove the netting on the council-owned Guildhall.

An electrical system that delivers a small, harmless shock to landing birds will be installed instead.

It is not expected to displace the kittiwakes to new nesting locations as it is replacing an existing deterrent rather than removing an established site.

The £50,000 project - due to be completed before the birds return in February - will also involve the removal, repair, and replacement of netting on the Tyne Bridge, the Local Democracy Service reports.

The council said it had encouraged other building owners to conduct an urgent review of their own deterrents, but it had no further authority to enforce them to add or remove measures they choose to use.

A council spokesman said: "We are fortunate to have this colony of rare kittiwakes on the Quayside, given the threat to the species globally, and their presence needs careful and sympathetic management as a result.

"It is pleasing to see so many different organisations come together to make sure these birds can nest safely at the Quayside while minimising their impact on listed buildings, residents and businesses in the area."

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