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Scaling back culling of gulls due to a falling population


Natural England has today set out changes to licences for the lethal control of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls in England to protect these declining species. The changes are set to have an impact on coastal areas in Cumbria, such as Whitehaven. 

The breeding population of herring gull has fallen by 60% in recent decades, with lesser black-backed gulls declining by an estimated 48%.

Assessment carried out by Natural England has since indicated that the scale of activity carried out under licences in recent years is above a sustainable level. Continued activity at these levels is likely to have a harmful impact on the population levels of both species.

Marian Spain, Interim Chief Executive of Natural England, said:

"Populations of herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls have declined significantly in recent years and it’s essential that we do all we can to reverse this worrying trend.

"I hope that by prioritising the licences we issue, we can ensure that action is taken where it’s most needed while at the same time securing the long-term future of these important species. Meanwhile we are working with Defra to explore options for filling current gaps in evidence around urban gull populations, so we can continue to make decisions in the best interests of people and wildlife."



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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Scaling back culling of gulls due to a falling population
Scaling back culling of gulls due to a falling population
Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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