The dove has always been considered a symbol of peace and a friend of mankind, and its white body makes people feel beautiful and calm. But what would happen if pigeons became a plague?What can pigeons have to do with contraceptive pills?
Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain, is considered to be a paradise for pigeons, and every year a large number of tourists come to see and feed them. At the same time, Barcelona also has numerous historical old buildings, each with its own style, which are well known in the world. The pictures of tourists standing in the square, surrounded by flocks of pigeons, with their backs to the characteristic old buildings have become a famous scene.
It is also this favored status of pigeons that many tourists and local residents feed them, which gives Barcelona pigeons good breeding conditions and accelerates their reproduction. Nowadays, the huge number of pigeons has caused a lot of inconvenience and even harm to the local population.
First of all, the daily life of the inhabitants is affected. The pigeons fly around, leaving behind pigeon droppings in their path. The pigeon droppings may fall on the heads of people passing by, on their clothes, or on the cars on the roadside.
Not to mention that when one is walking in a picturesque street with a good mood, the pigeon droppings that suddenly fall from the sky can easily make the beautiful mood a mess and will also painfully lose clean clothes. If pigeon droppings fall on vehicles, if not cleaned up in time, it is easy to make the vehicle rust spots and paint fall off, bringing property damage, which is really heartbreaking!
Unobtrusive pigeon droppings can even bring about serious casualty accidents.
In 2007, a highway bridge crossing the Mississippi River in Minnesota, USA, suddenly collapsed. The accident killed at least 1 3 people and injured 79 others. The bridge was undergoing repairs at the time of the accident, so only two lanes of traffic were allowed to pass. The bridge was undergoing repairs, so only two lanes of traffic were allowed to pass, and during rush hour, lines of vehicles were slowly moving through the lanes.
Suddenly, the bridge fracture, is passing passengers feel their “touch seat, as if floating in the air”, then they realized: the bridge collapsed, the vehicle is falling! Crying, shouting mixed. What’s even more disturbing is that a school bus carrying 50 students was also driving from the bridge, but fortunately, it grabbed the bridge before it broke and drove to the side of the bridge. Society could not help but sigh, August 1, 2007, it was “a night of tragedy”.
After the accident, the relevant departments to investigate the cause of the accident, found that the main reason is that the bridge is in disrepair, resulting in structural collapse. And a large amount of corrosive liquid on the bridge, but also “help” the accident. As you can see, if the pigeons flooded the bridge, the pigeon droppings spread everywhere, causing the building to collapse and the bridge to break, which could even cause major injuries.
Barcelona is known for its unique architecture and is the home of the famous artist Antoni Gaudi, a leading figure of the Art Nouveau movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who is also recognized as a heavyweight design master in the history of architecture. Also because of him, Barcelona’s architecture attracts many tourists, scholars, artists and others to see and study it every year.
If pigeon droppings fall on ancient buildings, on the one hand, it will directly affect the aesthetics of the buildings, affecting the ornamental and bringing greater maintenance difficulties and costs; on the other hand, the long-term distribution of droppings on the buildings will make the ancient buildings gradually corroded, causing damage that is difficult to repair.
The damage caused by the proliferation of pigeons is not only the corrosive droppings. Some biological experts have said that the number of pigeons in Barcelona is so huge that if it is not immediately controlled to the right number, then the infectious diseases carried by the pigeons themselves may lead to pigeon epidemics in the future, and once the pigeon epidemics break out, people will find it difficult to escape and suffer great hardship!
In response, the Barcelona government had to take measures to reduce the city’s pigeon population, prevent more serious accidents and maintain peace and safety in the city.
Initially, the Barcelona government took an iron-fisted approach – outright culling of pigeons. Indeed, this was a quick and easy way to kill 30,000 pigeons at once. But pigeon lovers found this move unacceptable and resisted, considering it cruel and brutal.
Then the government tried to introduce eagles. Eagles are the natural enemies of pigeons, and the government hoped to use the relationship between the food chain of living creatures to reduce the number of pigeons by making the natural enemies fight against and restrain each other. But this approach also had little success.
Eventually, some officials proposed to reduce the pigeon population by blocking the reproduction of pigeons through contraceptives. At first, everyone was surprised by this proposal. As we all know, the pill is usually taken by human initiative to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Is it feasible to use it on pigeons now?
In any case, the Barcelona government is going to give it a try and has started the “Pigeon Contraceptive Program”.
Then there are questions: how to get the pigeons to take the pill? How to prevent other animals from accidentally ingesting the contraceptive pills prepared for pigeons, which could lead to a decrease in the population of other species?
Barcelona has set up 44 special feeders throughout the city, mixing corn with contraceptive pills, containing about 0.8 grams of pills per 100 grams of corn. The pigeons consume these pills to achieve the effect of contraception for a certain period of time. Moreover, these pills are only effective for pigeons, which is a good way to avoid ecological disorders caused by other animals accidentally ingesting the pills.
Another advantage of this practice of controlling the pigeon population through contraceptives is that if the pigeon population becomes relatively small again in the future and it is necessary to increase the number of pigeons to achieve ecological balance, it is possible to increase the species by reducing or removing the special urban feeders and the pigeons will regain their fertility after a period of time without taking contraceptives.
So is this seemingly absurd approach feasible or not? And what are its ultimate effects?
Statistics show that the number of pigeons has steadily decreased every year for the past five years. Recently, it has been reduced to about 60% of 2017. And this method, which can achieve the goal of controlling the pigeon population while avoiding the cruel killing of pigeons, is not only admired by pigeon lovers, but also followed by other countries and used to control the biological proliferation in their own countries. And, this practice has been approved by the Animal Protection Society, which is a great success.
The phenomenon of biological proliferation has been occurring at various times around the globe. For example, millions of crabs in Cuba, oysters in the Pacific Ocean, crayfish in California, etc. Although the exposure of these biological invasions has been jokingly called “wasteful” by netizens, “foodies” have said that they want to get a visa to help solve the problem of invasion of these species, but while funny. But while it’s funny, let’s not forget to face this problem that the whole world is struggling with.
But while it is funny, we should not forget to face this problem that the whole world is suffering from. Trapping, predation and natural enemies are the conventional methods, and we hope that there will be more effective and gentle methods like Barcelona in the future to deal with the balance between human and nature and human and ecology.