U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in Wildlife Research, 2008, 35, 80–85; doi: 10.1071/WR07017 http://www.publish.csiro.au/journals/wr
This is a US Government work, not subject to copyright in the United States.


Development of effective methods for reducing populations of overabundant nuisance bird species continues to challenge wildlife biologists. Reproductive inhibition, although conceptually pleasing, has been difficult to implement because of the lack of a safe, approved avian contraceptive. Recently, however, nicarbazin received regulatory approval in the United States for use as a bait to decrease hatchability of resident Canada goose (Branta canadensis) and feral pigeon (Columba livia) eggs. In anticipation of the feral pigeon registration, we evaluated efficacy by exposing captive pairs of nesting pigeons to nicarbazin bait for 4 h daily. Egg production was unaffected, but only 9 of 22 eggs hatched, a 59% reduction from pre-treatment when each of the 11 test pairs produced 2 nestlings. In the recovery phase, when treated bait was removed, the 11 pairs produced 18 nestlings. All nestlings produced during the study appeared healthy and normal, and there was no mortality among the adult pairs. Nicarbazin is an effective and safe means of reducing hatchability of feral pigeon eggs that can be used within an integrated management plan to reduce feral pigeon populations.