WIRES is encouraging boat owners to cover open areas on sea vessels to prevent them becoming nesting sites, saying this simple action will go a long way to stopping an unnecessary loss of seagull chicks during spring.
"Open areas on boats like the cockpit or an open locker are ideal sites for seagulls to build nests and lay eggs. This will happen during the winter months when a lot of boats are left moored,” Leanne Taylor, General Manager WIRES said.
"If you return to your boat in spring to find a seagull’s nest on your boat, it is guaranteed that the related mess won’t be easy to clean off or pleasant!
“The Illawarra branch of WIRES took 21 calls in relation to seagull chick rescues from September to November 2012, so it is a problem that needs to be addressed.
"WIRES can be called in to remove nests from boats, but the seagull chicks will not be reconnected with their mother and others won’t adopt them. Our carers will hand-rear them until they can be released into the wild.
"Preventing your boat becoming a nesting site is a far more preferable alternative to moving a nest on two levels. Your boat won’t be spoiled when you return to it, and the seagull chicks will be reared by their parents in their natural habitat.
"We ask anyone leaving their boat moored during winter to please cover up open areas on their boat as the seagull breeding season commences this month.”