Gull poo air pollution warnings on Scottish seashores ‘out of proportion’, say professionals | Scotland

Warnings on Scottish seashores to not feed gulls as a result of fowl poo contributes to water air pollution are “massively out of proportion”, in keeping with ornithology professionals.

The posters, which might be a part of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s My Beach Your Beach marketing campaign, have additionally been criticised for “demonising” gulls and contributing to a prolonged human false impression of fowl behaviour.

Dr Viola Ross-Smith, a gull professional from the British Trust for Ornithology, informed the Guardian: “It seems massively out of proportion to give people yet another reason to be worried about gulls, when we know how water companies are putting untreated sewage into our watercourses and seas.”

“Our seas are full of poos from all kinds of seabirds and fish. Gull poo is natural and pretty innocuous compared to wet wipes or dog poo wrapped in plastic.”

She identified that herring gulls have been these days red-listed when it comes to conservation standing, with their inhabitants declining by means of greater than 50% in fresh a long time.

The warnings come as seashore holidaymakers start their annual tussle with over-familiar gulls.

Ross-Smith stated that stories of accelerating gull assaults will have to be learn with standpoint, too. “Gulls are with us all year round and it’s only this time of year that they get a bad press. It’s the end of breeding season, so birds are trying to defend fledgling chicks, but this coincides with the start of the summer holidays and at tourist hotspots some birds are specialised in pilfering food. But only certain birds do it, and many won’t touch human food.”

RSPB Scotland identified that gull droppings – referred to as guano – have been necessary assets of vitamins for marine existence akin to phytoplankton, which feed numerous marine species, from snails to fish that people devour.

A spokesperson for the charity stated: “The notion that seabird droppings are a driver of marine pollution and poor quality of seawater around our coasts is just plain wrong. The clue is in the name – seabirds live by and on the sea, and have done for many thousands of years, playing an essential part in the structure and functioning of the marine ecosystem. They are facing multiple anthropogenic challenges right now, like climate change and highly pathogenic avian influenza, so to demonise them on the basis of something that they do not do or cause is careless.”

The My Beach Your Beach marketing campaign, which has been working since 2018 and goals a collection of Scottish seashores that experience had issues of water high quality, additionally encourages canine house owners to scrub up after their puppy and reminds other people to take their clutter house with them.

A Keep Scotland Beautiful spokesperson stated: “Gull and dog poo have been found to contribute to bathing water contamination and can affect bathing water classifications.

“Microbial DNA source tracking analysis (MST) allows the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to identify the origin of pollution if we get an elevated monitoring result at a bathing water. They can currently determine if pollution sources are human, ruminant (including cow and sheep), gull or dog.”

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