‘Thousands’ of endangered gulls killed in two years

Natural England has issued licences allowing the killing of at least 7,000 herring gulls between 2017 and 2019, even though the species is seriously threatened, according to data collated by a wildlife campaigner.

The wildlife regulator’s data on the lethal control of herring gulls under its individual licence scheme was collated by environmental campaigner Jason Endfield and published last week.

Natural England has allowed the killing of up to 5% of the UK's herring gull breeding population across these two years, according to Endfield.  

But Endfield says the figures could be higher as the data does not include licences issued for the removal of herring gull eggs or nests or licences issued to protect other species. It also excludes herring gulls killed under the general licence scheme – a lighter-touch regime that allows the discretionary killing of certain bird species under certain circumstances.

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