They make noise at night and steal sandwiches and pizzas from tourists during the day. Venice is struggling with unruly seagulls that make life miserable for both residents and guests.
The herring gull is a species of bird that inhabits coastal areas in various countries in Europe. The male can reach up to 67 cm in length, its wingspan can be up to 1.6 m, and its weight can be up to 1.5 kg. This animal makes very characteristic sounds, and although most of us associate it with water and holidays – they can be found mainly at the seaside – it can also arouse negative emotions. In Venice, seagulls terrorize the inhabitants and the city. They behave in such a way that they cause panic among visitors.
Seagulls terrorize tourists in Venice
Seagulls in Venice make noise at night, and during the day they steal food from tourists – often even when they hold it in their hands. And although their presence is something natural in the Italian city – about 2,000 of them live here permanently. – and so they make themselves felt by residents and visitors. In order to improve the comfort of people who have to interact with seagulls, the city administration has prepared an ad hoc manual informing about the rules of behavior that should be implemented.
Seagulls snatch sandwiches from your hands and also jump on tables in search of food. That’s why it’s so important how to deal with them.
The city wants to teach people how to live with seagulls
In special leaflets that were circulated, it was noted that it is very important to take care of their nesting places, i.e. roofs and attics, but also to avoid eating food on the street and throwing waste into municipal containers. “We need integrated ecosystem management,” commented Pierpaolo Campostrini, CEO of Corila (the entity that promotes and coordinates research on the Venetian Lagoon). He admitted that seagulls themselves were not a problem unique to Venice, but a consequence of the urbanization of various coastal areas.
“Seagulls are present here in significant numbers, but they do not attack us,” says Massimiliano De Martin, environmental councilor for the municipality of Venice. He believes that any project in their field will make sense if people are educated about the phenomenon of their appearance.
Veritas, together with the authorities of Venice, placed bilingual information leaflets on rubbish bins in the most frequented places in the city to inform people about the behavior to be implemented when dealing with seagulls.
Various strategies have been used over the years, from the use of falcons to remove birds from the cemetery on San Michele Island to the use of disturbing sound systems. When it comes to seagulls feeding in places where food is available, Veritas reports that the situation has improved somewhat recently. This happened after a ban on putting garbage bags in front of houses was introduced. They were very easy prey for birds.