The Ashburton District Council is encouraging businesses and the public to ensure food waste and rubbish is correctly disposed of to help reduce the temptation for birds to roost around Ashburton's Central Business District.
The Council has received several enquiries in recent weeks about protected black billed gulls congregating around a number of business areas and leaving mess around shop-fronts and carparks.
Black billed gulls are an endangered species that nest in the Ashburton riverbed each spring. They are expected to begin moving into the river and away from businesses as the breeding season starts.
As a protected species, traditional methods of deterring and controlling the birds are not allowed. However, an effective and appropriate way to help dissuade the birds is to remove unnecessary food waste from the area.
Gulls, like many birds will scavenge what they can from rubbish that people leave behind, so by reducing this food source, the birds are less likely to want to stay in the area.