Gulls or seagulls belong to the bird family of Laridae. Despite the inclusion of the name sea many species of gulls actually live, feed and nest inland in coastal towns or even in suburban areas. True to their reputation as scavengers, flocks of seagulls often congregate wherever food is available. Oftentimes, seagulls can be found around fishing boats, picnic grounds, parking lots and garbage dumps. When gulls nest, they usually form large colonies of thousands of birds and the place where they settle down depends on the season. Sometimes the seagull population gets too much in some areas that these birds become a hazard. Gulls can become so aggressive that they attack people. Furthermore, their droppings can carry disease-causing bacteria like Escherichia coli and Enterococcus, which can contaminate beaches and water, and thus become a threat to human health.
Point Sources of Gull Fecal Pollution
Gull droppings are discharged from a single, identifiable source.
Thousands of seagulls have been reported roosting on lakes, generating a lot of waste in the water and, oftentimes, causing the decline in that water?s quality. They are also known to congregate at beaches causing many beaches to close because of the high fecal bacteria count in the water. Abundant food and attractive nesting grounds draw the gulls to the beaches. They can catch fish in the ocean and many things to eat at the beach including insects, earthworms, rodents, grains, and processed food like French fries. One of the methods used by beach managers to keep gulls away is dog patrols. So far, it has been proven to be an effective form of control because it has been linked to improving water quality of the formerly seagull-infested beaches.
Non-Point Sources of Gull Fecal Pollution
Fecal matter from gulls winds up in water bodies in a diffuse manner.
While many gulls already nest inland, seagulls generally come inland during winter. Moreover, seagulls are also slowly invading cities and towns where there?s so much food to scavenge. At parking lots, gulls often get a hand-out and they find leftovers from take-out boxes. Dumpsters are also a treasure trove for the gulls who are opportunistic omnivores. They like nesting in open areas like rooftops of shopping malls. So when the rain comes pouring down, it washes away the gulls feces as well and form part of the run-off.