ENVIRONMENTAL groups in Northam are concerned over the rising seagull population which is adversely affecting other native birds in the area.
While silver gulls are native to Australia, the scavengers are normally found on the coast.
However the seagulls have settled in the town pool and are nesting on the islands in the centre of the river.
Greg Warburton of Wheatbelt NRM said the birds had relocated inland because of the ideal living conditions.
“They have taken over the islands in the middle of the pool to the exclusion of the native birds and this is because they have a consistent food source and it is a safe place to breed,” he said.
“With people always feeding them and plenty of scraps from bins, their numbers are growing and they are breeding prolifically.
“People need to know if they continue to feed the birds it could reach a point where they present a problem.”
Wheatbelt NRM has been working with the Avon Valley Environmental Society to determine a method to control the seagull numbers.
Avon Valley Environmental Society secretary Peter Weatherly said there were a number of non-fatal options the group were considering.
“One of the options is to take the eggs out of the nest and replace them with china eggs to control numbers,” he said.
“This is an inexpensive and easy thing to do as they tend to nest in the open, and of course we don’t want to shoot or cull the birds.
“It is a general opinion among environmentalists and bird watchers that the balance is getting out of whack, so if we want to keep the biodiversity of the town pool going, we must do something.”