"Contraception Key to Controlling Pigeons"

   In a Letter to the Editor in the Montana Standard, Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick from the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, MT commented on the role of contraception in controlling pigeons.

July 30, 2013 2:15 am • by Jay F. Kirkpatrick

"I read with interest an article in the Billings Gazette (July 25) regarding the pigeon problem in Butte. What struck me the most was that almost all the “solutions” mirrored failed policies for pigeons elsewhere, and for a myriad of other species as well, and never got around to the real problem — reproduction.Trying to find relief through the removal of any “problem” animal simply exacerbates the problem. Unless you literally exterminate every pigeon in Butte, the residual population will simply keep filling the roosts and leaving behind reminders.Reproduction, folks. That’s the key to managing populations. And there is an excellent proven commercial solution for the problem of pigeon reproduction in the form of an Environmental Protection Agency-approved avian contraceptive.This approach has worked extremely well for pigeons in other cities and the broad approach of fertility control has worked well for wild horses, urban deer, bison, and even African elephants.Why it is so hard, for people to understand that reproduction is the problem?"

— Jay F. Kirkpatrick, Science and Conservation Center, 2100 S. Shiloh Road, Billings