A team of administrators and students at Texas Tech are working together to fight the mass pigeon population on campus. They’re now working on distributing a birth control that is safe for the pigeons to eat, that won’t allow their eggs to complete fertilization process.
“It’s used to make the eggs infertile, it breaks up the layers so the egg yolk and egg white do not connect. So the bird will keep laying eggs but the eggs will not fertilize. It does not harm the birds,” Erin Bohlander, a Ph.D. student in the Natural Resource Management Program at Texas Tech said.
Sean Childers, the Assistant Vice President of Operations at Texas Tech, heads the project and said the birth control won’t save them money immediately but they expect it to drastically in the future.
“We spend over 100,000 dollars a year on man hours and resources to clean up pigeon remains around campus. We wanted to take a step back and think more globally. How can we get ahead of this situation? What can we do that is non-harmful and humane and get ahead of the population,” Childers said.
The birth control is called “Ovo” and will be mixed within feeders with cracked corn. Bohlander said they anticipate having to feed all year long since Pigeon’s breed year round.
“We’re hoping to humanely decrease the population by 90-95%,” Bohlander said.