With the sudden increase of seagull population, scientists launched a new project to shed light on Britain's seagull menace and this can be done through the use of psychologists.
Psychologists say they are ready to study the ongoing urban seagull menace wherein the birds are attracted to live in well-off areas with beautiful buildings and abundant food supply.
Understanding the history, way of life and behavior of seagulls may provide an insight on the sudden increase of their population. This may also help in controlling their numbers.
A team of psychologists from the University of the West of England will spend around 18 months to study the psychology of seagulls. They will focus more on the birds' nesting sites, feeding activity and interactions with people.
The government allotted £60,000 ($84,678) for the project from its annual budget.
"Existing measures used to control the gull population over the past decade or so have been largely ineffective," Dr. Chris Pawson at UWE said.
"A better understanding of the motivations of the protected species is required to formulate a fresh approach. From a behavioural ecology point of view, many of the principles you call upon to explain human behaviour are exactly the same for wildlife," he added.
Gull And Human Behavior Can Be Similar
Some behaviors humans manifest are similar to wildlife. Sometimes, humans make decisions depending on the pressure of the environment. When there is lesser pressure and more comfort, humans are driven to live in that particular area.
The same is true with gulls. They feel comfort in urban cities where there is little competition of food and they have shelter in high-rise buildings.
"It is warm for them and there is little competition for food. Where would you rather be - on a cliff top somewhere, or on a nice ledge with ready food source?" Dr. Pawson said.
With the continuous increase of seagull population, there had been a lot of complaints about seagull noise and aggressive behavior. Recent reports said that residents complained of seagulls stealing sandwiches and food.
Lately, seagulls became more aggressive and bigger, attacking animals and pets in Cornwall. A seagull pecked to death an eight-year-old Yorkshire terrier in its owner's garden. In another attack, a 20-year-old pet tortoise was also attacked.
Photo: Ruben Holthuijsen | Flickr