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Birth Control for Pigeons and Squirrels

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Los Angeles is working on being the second city in the state to successfully reduce pigeon and squirrel populations by using birth control rather than killing the animals.

The LA Times reports that squirrel birth control known as GonaCon, which succeeded in cutting squirrel's birth rate by 66% in 2004 in Berkeley, was piloted in Palisades Park but then thwarted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which deemed the park too small to continue the program.

In Hollywood, though, according to the Times, officials have high hopes for reducing the pigeon population and their tendency to "roost on utility lines, tree branches and elsewhere, depositing their droppings on cars, buildings and even residents" with a birth control method called OvoControl P, which the pigeons eat from feeders.

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The pilot program is expected to start showing results within a year, as long as the pigeons consume the kibble once a day. If proven as effective as in previous studies, Hollywood's pigeon population is expected to shrink by at least 50% by 2012, according to the contraceptive's manufacturer.

Photo by new hobby via Flickr