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Spanish city takes drastic action as streets invaded by pests


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The city of Barcelona is taking action in its fight against pigeons which are swarming the city day in day out.

As part of a new trial involving the Barcelona football ground, the city is deploying birds of prey to stop rough urban pigeons from causing havoc in the local area.

According to the Olive Press, hawks and eagles will be flying around the stadium between 8am and 4pm to deter the birds from landing.

The decision to embark on this trial comes after local residents complained about the increase in pigeons and their impact the community.

The hope is that by using birds of prey to deter the pigeons, they will begin to gather in local parks instead after an attempt to lace their food with contraceptives failed.

There are believed to be around 85,000 pigeons in the city, birds which were previously deterred from landing on Barcelona’s Palaua Sant Jordi in 2017.

However, a large number of pigeons isn’t the only problem Barcelona suggests it is facing, as one report suggests it is also trying to manage the sheer number of tourists who visit every single year.

Around 32million visit the area every single year, and now locals have suggested there could be too many for the city to handle.

The concern that residents have about the high level of tourists is a phenomenon known as overtourism, caused by too many people visiting a single place or series of places.

According to the activity travel company Responsible Travel, the problem in Barcelona’s case is not the number of tourists, but the fact they all tend to turn up at the same time.

This issue was addressed in a 2016 report by Dr Harold Goodwin that covered how the city could manage tourism. He compared the arrival of tourists as akin to a “tidal wave” who look around the city before boarding tourist ships and carrying on their journey.

They placed the blame for overtourism in Barcelona on the 1992 Olympics that put the city on the radars of people looking for a European break.

They explained: “It wasn’t until Barcelona hosted the 1992 Olympic Games that the city really appeared on the tourist map. The run-down, industrial port city underwent a much-needed facelift.

“It embraced its Mediterranean coastline, imported sand to create new beaches in place of ugly docks, and the tourists duly began to arrive.”

They added: “Little money is spent outside of the main tourist cafes and souvenir stalls, and the congestion is unpleasant for both residents and other tourists.

“Everyday shops are being replaced by souvenir stands, bike rental shops and cafes which may be unaffordable – or simply unnecessary – for many local residents.”

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