Lonely Planet Writer

Spanish town bids to reduce pigeons with birth control

A Spanish town has decided to administer birth control pills in corn seeds to pigeons in an attempt to reduce the explosion in numbers over the past few years.

Pigeons in a Spanish town near Barcelona have been put on the pill to reduce their numbers
Pigeons in a Spanish town near Barcelona have been put on the pill to reduce their numbers Image by aimee rivers / CC BY 2.0

The birds are to be given corn seeds with a food additive and will be fed 10 grams of ‘Ovistop’ to act as a contraceptive from this month to the end of the year – the traditional high season for breeding.

Located near one of Europe’s top tourist destinations in Barcelona, the town of Badia del Vallés, has revealed on its website how it plans to tackle the problem of an out-of-control pigeon population.

The Town Hall officials there say they will scatter the ‘pill’ from three automatic dispensers every day to ensure the birds do not reproduce in anything like the numbers up to the present.

The Daily start reported that the municipality installed the first dispenser this week and added that two more will be placed on school roofs before the end of the month.

This method of contraception for birds will be effective, the authority insisted while sources say it could cut the Spanish town’s pigeon population by 80% by 2020.

A pair of pigeons can produce 48 others in a year and the town says it had to think of something to stop such an expansion rate.