To evaluate whether single-entry endoscopic vasectomy of male feral pigeons (Columba livia) significantly reduced fertility and would potentially be valuable for control of feral pigeon populations, 252 male feral pigeons were caught in the city of Berne and endoscopically vasectomized. In this procedure, approximately 1 cm of the deferent duct was removed bilaterally. Rapid, uneventful recoveries occurred in 94% (237/252) of the pigeons, whereas 6% (15/252) died because of complications associated with the procedure, consisting of perforation of the ureter (9/15), major hemorrhage (5/15), and respiratory arrest (1/15). Mean anesthesia time was 23 ± 6 minutes. The vasectomized males were habituated to 2 pigeon houses together with fertile females. Another pigeon house with fertile pairs acted as control. All eggs laid were candled weekly to assess fertility. In the 2 pigeon houses with vasectomized males, the mean fertilization rate was 0.9% (5/563), while in the control pigeon house, the rate was 100% (39/39). The results indicate that endoscopic vasectomy of male feral pigeons may be a promising tool for field control of feral pigeon populations, especially in combination with other methods such as pigeon houses.
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