Submitted by GSPCA on 17:03, 10th Oct, 2011 | 0

After more than 4 weeks and over 50 gulls affected that we know the first group of gulls will soon be released.  The GSPCA has been very busy with very sick gulls with what we believe has been an outbreak of botchilism.

Over the last 4 weeks we had over 40 reports of gulls that had died or were too weak to make it after being brought in to our care.  But 12 of the gulls, mostly herring but one black backed are nearly complete with their rehabilitation. 

We are hoping to release a group of the fittest birds on Wednesday, weather permitting.  We would like to thank the community of Guernsey for their support in what has been the largest group of gulls that have been affected in such a way for a very long time on the island and surrounding area.

Fortunately we haven’t had any gulls with similar ailments for nearly two weeks and the GSPCA is hopeful that the worse is now over for these birds.

Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) is in fact on the IUCN’s red list of endangered species as of this year. The gull was among 246 species assessed against a set of criteria to place each on one of three lists - green, amber and red.

A total of 52 species of bird are on the red list, 126 on the amber list and 68 on the green list, with 18 new additions to the red list this year.

The herring gull has been moved from the amber to red list because of a severe decline of over 50 per cent in both the breeding and non-breeding populations during the last 40 years.

Within the last 25 years alone, the report found that the breeding population had declined between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

Recently the Wildlife Expert Tim Earl commended the work of the GSPCA helping the gulls in this crisis due to their endangered status on BBC Radio Guernsey.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said ‘We are looking forward to releasing the birds back into the wild where they belong.’  ‘If it hadn’t been for the care and compassion of the staff, volunteers and vets then these gulls surely wouldn’t be with us today.’  ‘Thanks must be extended to the people of Guernsey and the surrounding islands for their vigilance in what has been a very difficult time for the gulls.’

The GSPCA has been busy upgrading our wildlife facility ready for the seals and other animals that come in over the winter months.  We will soon be reopening this unit and using it to its full potential.  So far the GSPCA has already helped with in excess of 1000 wild animals and birds this year.

If you would like to donate towards this or any of our work then either pop in to the shelter, call 01481 257261 or go to  




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