Story: Gulls, terns and skuas

Controlling gulls near airports (1st of 3)

Controlling gulls near airports

Black-backed gulls and other large birds can get sucked into a plane’s engine, damaging the craft or bringing it down. In a two-and-a-half-year period during the 1990s, 74 birds were hit, and 362 were near misses; 63% were black-backed gulls. Gulls are now prevented from nesting near Wellington airport, and the Department of Conservation has reduced the number of nests on nearby islands in Wellington Harbour. Injecting eggs with formaldehyde is one way of controlling numbers.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1999/3766/9
Photograph by John Nicholson

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Gulls, terns and skuas - Black-backed gulls', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 August 2022)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015