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Are seagulls a protected species?


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I just watched a massive flock of seagulls in next door's garden (think he was feeding them kitchen scraps) and thought 'eeew, that's like feeding rats' then 'aha, it'd be just like clay pigeon shooting without the clay pigeons'!

 

I'm not seriously planning to shoot any seagulls but I sort of remember that I heard once they're protected. A while back, Aberdeen police made a big fuss about finding a guy who'd driven into a flock of seagulls on the pier and killed a load of them, citing their protected status as grounds for trying to arrest the chap.

 

They're not rare, though, seagulls so I can't figure out why they'd be protected, if they even are.

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A quick Internet search came up with this:

 

Five species of gull commonly occur in the United Kingdom, but only 3, the Greater Black-Backed (Larus marinus), the Lesser Black-Backed (Larus fuscus) and the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) are regarded as pests and can be killed under the General Licence.

 

Pest Species:

- Great B.B. Gull

- Lesser B.B. Gull

- Herring Gull

 

Protected Species:

- Black-Headed Gull

- Common Gull Kittiwake

 

Strange to say it but I kinda miss them, or maybe it's just the sea I'm pining for. :(

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://img234.imageshack.us/img234/9583/seagullstz8.jpg

 

On the other hand, when I really think about it, maybe I don't miss them that much! :lol:

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Interesting that these three species are regarded as vermin (though I don't know why the lesser black backed - I wasn't aware that it did any harm.) Where I live the town is mobbed by herring gulls all summer, and everyone believes that they're a protected species. I think they must be getting mixed up with the common gull, which isn't common.

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