Waikiki landowner solves pigeon problem

Published On: Jul 13 2012 05:27:22 PM HST   Updated On: Jul 13 2012 06:41:31 PM HST

It's a big problem in urban areas of Honolulu -- pigeons.  Until now, those wanting to control the population had to kill the birds.

Enter bird birth control.   At least one Waikiki landowner says it works!

If you go to the International Marketplace, you'll notice something is missing:  pigeons and pigeon poop.  That's because about a year ago, landowner Queen Emma Land Company began a pigeon birth control program called OvoControl.

Since then, the company saw about a 60 percent decrease in the number of pigeons.

"So, initially there were hundreds, if not thousands, of pigeons that you could see basically at any time of the day," said Inga Gibson of the Humane Society of the U.S.  "Now, when we walk through, the reduction in the number of pigeons is really noticeable."

A video from the company that produces OvoControl shows how it works.  Feeders are set up to distribute the product to the pigeons who gobble it up.

"As long as they are getting fed the bait once a day, they are contracepted," said Gibson.  "It's completely non-toxic, environmentally safe and, of course, humane."

Queen Emma Land officials say they're pleased and say their maintenance costs are down.

Gibson is hoping Waikiki hotels and businesses will pick up the idea, as well as state and city offices.

State officials told KITV4 News they are looking into using OvoControl for the state capitol where birds and bird poop continue to be a constant problem.

Just last year, the state spend $25,000 to replace the worn netting at the capitol that is supposed to keep the birds away.

Gibson says the bait and system costs about $8.50 a day, depending on the pigeon population size.  She says as the pigeon population goes down, the bait costs decrease as well.


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