Bay Area sea gull population explodes, bringing flocks of problems.
By Andrew Chang
Rogers, Paul. "Bay Area Sea Gull Population Explodes, Bringing Flocks of Problems." - San Jose Mercury News. San Jose Mercury News, 20 July 2013. Web. 16 Feb. 2015.
Over the last 35 years, the California Gull population has grown from just a mere 24 birds, to over 53,000. The growth of the population of these gulls were unexpected, and according to recent reports, this population boom has not only caused flocks of the California Gull, but also flocks of problems for everybody. These birds have begin to overpopulate in areas all over the Bay Area. They are seen in the streets and cities, but are also seen in natural areas where they do not belong. They are known for eating away endangered species of birds and are a detriment to the natural ecosystem. These Gull's are also detrimental to projects held by many. The Salt Pond Restoration Project works to restore salt ponds back to tidal marshes in the Bay Area. However, due to the massive increase of California Gulls, this project has been delayed and damaged. The Salt Pond Restoration Project has cost taxpayers over 300 million dollars, and it's hope to bring back endangered species, is threatened. The restoration of the endangerment many species of shore birds has been threatened as the California Gull commonly is a predator around these areas. To add to all of this, the gulls are getting in the way of airlines. Recorded over the last couple of years, these gulls have commonly collided with airplanes taking off and landing in the Bay Area. They cause danger towards the passengers of the airplane and also when caught in the engines, they lose their own lives and also cost majorly expensive damage towards the engines of the airplanes. As a solution, biologists have discussed killing away the eggs and breeding grounds of these birds.
Discussing the issue of the nuisance of the California Gull, we must look at all different forms of ethical issues. As we see that these Gulls like to damage other ecosystems, we must examine the fact that they are overpopulating in our area and are beginning to cause difficulty for scientists to restore other environments. As for restoring the endangerment of many species in the Bay, the growing population of the California Gull damages those ecosystems by eating away those species, or taking up its living space. Also the stakeholders in this position are in a tough situation. Tax payers, or in other words us, have paid almost 300 million dollars towards the restoration of tidal marshes and endangered species. Our contribution here, is wasted. As biologists today are looking for ways to decrease the growing size of the population of Gulls, they are discussing destroying gull nests and killing miscellaneous gulls. However, we must see that the Gulls are living beings and that they truly have intrinsic value.
I believe that it is okay to begin to destroy these California Gull nests, not only because they multiply in such an extreme level, but also because they are much less vulnerable than the other endangered species that they are posing a threat to. If we were to slow down the growth of this Gull's population, we would be able to slowly do more to restore other ecosystems that we all have paid money towards restoring. Since this species of Gull has been flourishing for the last 35 years, it is time to give other species a chance that have not been flourishing at all. I know that we are killing off God's creation, but we must think more big picture here. Defeat one species, or risk the loss of all the others.
Should we begin to destroy the nests of California Gulls to slow down the growth of population to conserve other natural ecosystems? Or should we find another way to control them? If so, how?