The yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis has undergone widespread colonization of the urban environment in the recent past. The first urban breeding gulls were recorded in the historical centre of Venice, Italy, in 2000, and by 2005 there were already 24 roof-nesting pairs, with this number increasing significantly over the last decade. In 2016, a new door-to-door garbage collection system was introduced in Venice to prevent the accumulation of rubbish in the streets and limit the trophic resources available for the species. This study provides an up-to-date estimate of the Venice yellow-legged gull urban population using distance sampling method. We also studied the effect of the new waste collection system on the species by comparing the population estimate before (2017) and after (2018) the full implementation of this change and by analysing the trend of individuals collected in the old town by the wildlife recovery service during 2010–2018. Results estimated ca. 430 breeding pairs in June 2018 showing a 36% decrease with respect to 2017. We also found a decrease in the number of 1-year-old birds and pulli collected by the wildlife recovery service starting from 2016, when the policy implementation began. Our data did not show a significant decrease in the overall number of individuals, suggesting that the new policy has a stronger effect on the breeding success of the species than on adult survival. This study emphasizes the importance of preventing rubbish accumulation in the streets as factor for reducing the abundance of urban yellow-legged gulls.

The abundance of yellow-legged gulls Larus michahellis breeding in the historic centre of Venice, Italy and the initial effects of the new waste collection policy on the population

Vanni, Lorenzo
Secondo
;
Giunchi, Dimitri
Ultimo
Conceptualization
2021

Abstract

The yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis has undergone widespread colonization of the urban environment in the recent past. The first urban breeding gulls were recorded in the historical centre of Venice, Italy, in 2000, and by 2005 there were already 24 roof-nesting pairs, with this number increasing significantly over the last decade. In 2016, a new door-to-door garbage collection system was introduced in Venice to prevent the accumulation of rubbish in the streets and limit the trophic resources available for the species. This study provides an up-to-date estimate of the Venice yellow-legged gull urban population using distance sampling method. We also studied the effect of the new waste collection system on the species by comparing the population estimate before (2017) and after (2018) the full implementation of this change and by analysing the trend of individuals collected in the old town by the wildlife recovery service during 2010–2018. Results estimated ca. 430 breeding pairs in June 2018 showing a 36% decrease with respect to 2017. We also found a decrease in the number of 1-year-old birds and pulli collected by the wildlife recovery service starting from 2016, when the policy implementation began. Our data did not show a significant decrease in the overall number of individuals, suggesting that the new policy has a stronger effect on the breeding success of the species than on adult survival. This study emphasizes the importance of preventing rubbish accumulation in the streets as factor for reducing the abundance of urban yellow-legged gulls.
Coccon, Francesca; Vanni, Lorenzo; Dabalà, Caterina; Giunchi, Dimitri
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1110006
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