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Regional district sticks with raptors for bird control at Salmon Arm landfill

Proximity to city’s airport necessitates bird management program at refuse disposal site
Biologist Mandy Moore is the owner of Shuswap Bird of Prey, a falconry-based wildlife management and raptor education company. (Mars Romer Photography)

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is leaving bird control at the Salmon Arm landfill to the birds.

At its July 21 meeting, the regional district’s board of directors voted to renew a contract with Shuswap Bird of Prey to provide bird control at the city’s landfill. The new contract is for a five-year term, for $505,716 plus taxes. Board approval was required as the value of the agreement was over $500,000.

In a related report to the board, environmental health services team leader Ben Van Nostrand explained the Salmon Arm refuse disposal site was placed next to the airport at a time when the city lacked regulations regarding development in the industrial area and conflicting land uses. Current provincial guidelines require landfills to be at least eight kilometres away from airports.

“Given that the Salmon Arm landfill is adjacent to the airport, bird management plans have been developed both by the City of Salmon Arm and the CSRD to minimize the potential for airplane interaction with birds,” reads the report.

The CSRD’s bird management plan for the landfill is focused on ensuring birds do not become habitualized to garbage.

“Over the past several years, Shuswap Bird of Prey Ltd. has provided a service that includes many techniques to scare birds away from the refuse at the landfill…,” explained Van Nostrand. “The main feature of their services is the use of predatory falcons, which are flown to deter other birds from spending time at the landfill.”

Presenting to the board on Van Nostrand’s behalf, CSRD operations manager Darcy Mooney said there are many other methods, but “we’ve found birds of prey have been the most effective method, but it’s a very specialized service and not everybody has that service.”

Read more: Fugitive falcon found in parking lot

Read more: Falcon escapes handlers
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