Black-backed gulls and other large birds can get sucked into a plane’s engine, damaging the craft or bringing it down. In a two-and-a-half-year period during the 1990s, 74 birds were hit, and 362 were near misses; 63% were black-backed gulls. Gulls are now prevented from nesting near Wellington airport, and the Department of Conservation has reduced the number of nests on nearby islands in Wellington Harbour. Injecting eggs with formaldehyde is one way of controlling numbers.
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