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Wildlife in Airport Environments

Preventing Animal–Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management

edited by Travis L. DeVault, Bradley F. Blackwell, and Jerrold L. Belant

Publication Year: 2013

The pilot watches the instrument panel and prepares for touchdown—a routine landing until a burst of birds, a coyote, or a herd of deer crosses the runway! Every year, pilots experience this tension and many aircraft come into direct contact with birds and other wildlife, resulting in more than one billion dollars in damage per year. The United States Federal Aviation Administration has recorded a rise in these incidents over the past decade due to more reporting, rebounding wildlife populations, and an increased number of flights. Wildlife in Airport Environments tackles the issue of what to do about wildlife in and around airports—from rural, small-craft airparks to major international airports. Whether the problem is birds or bats in the flight path or a moose on the runway, these expert contributors provide a thorough overview of the science behind wildlife management at airports. This well-written, carefully documented volume presents a clear synthesis of the research for wildlife managers, airport staff, and other interested nonscientists. The book belongs in the hands of all those charged with minimizing the risks that wildlife poses to air travel. Wildlife in Airport Environments is the first in the series Wildlife Management and Conservation, published in association with The Wildlife Society.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

On 15 January 2009, the world learned—in dramatic fashion—that wildlife pose serious hazards to aircraft. On that day, US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus 320 carrying 155 people, made an emergency landing in the Hudson River in New York City after ingesting Canada...


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pp. xiii-xvi

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1: The History of Wildlife Strikes and Management at Airports

Richard A. Dolbeer

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pp. 1-8

The first human- powered flight took place in December 1903, when Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew their experimental aircraft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA. Birds, which had been practicing powered flight for about 150 million years, suddenly...

Part I: Wildlife Management Techniques

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2: Behavior and Physiology in the Development and Application of Visual Deterrents at Airports

Bradley F. Blackwell and Esteban Fernández- Juricic

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pp. 11-24

In the first major treatise on the science of wildlife damage management, Conover (2002) dedicated a short review of visual stimuli used to deter wildlife from specific areas or resources. The brevity of the review reflects the fact that these techniques have...

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3: Effectiveness of Chemical Repellents in Managing Birds at Airports

Larry Clark and Michael L. Avery

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pp. 25-36

Repellents include methods and devices used to manipulate behavior of animals to reduce damage or nuisance. Critical to the design and success of repellents is understanding how sensory modalities mediate perception of signals, and how ecological context and...

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4: Tactile and Auditory Repellents to Reduce Wildlife Hazards to Aircraft

Thomas W. Seamans, James A. Martin, and Jerrold L. Belant

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pp. 37-48

Wildlife within the airport environment are hazards to human safety. Lethal removal of targeted individuals reduces the immediate threat, but other approaches should be integrated into control programs to make them more effective and to help...

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5: Excluding Mammals from Airports

Kurt C. VerCauteren, Michael Lavelle, and Thomas W. Seamans

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pp. 49-60

To ensure aircraft safety, it is critical to exclude large mammal species such as deer (Odocoileus spp.), feral swine (Sus scrofa), and coyotes (Canis latrans) from airport environments, as well as to consider thoroughly and carefully all available management methods. Airports are often located on or...

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6: Wildlife Translocation as a Management Alternative at Airports

Paul D. Curtis, Jonathon D. Cepek, Rebecca Mihalco, Thomas W. Seamans, and Scott R. Craven

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pp. 61-66

Wildlife in urban settings may be a welcome sight for many, but negative interactions between people and various wild species are increasing (Conover et al. 1995, Conover 2002). Wildlife populations are commonly managed in part to reduce these conflicts...

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7: Population Management to Reduce the Risk of Wildlife–Aircraft Collisions

Richard A. Dolbeer and Alan B. Franklin

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pp. 67-76

Four basic control strategies mitigate the risks to aviation caused by wildlife at airports: (1) aircraft flight schedule modification (primarily at military airbases) and enhancement of aircraft visibility to avoid interactions with wildlife (e.g., Blackwell et al. 2009b,...

Part II: Managing Resources

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8: Identification and Management of Wildlife Food Resources at Airports

Travis L. DeVault and Brian E. Washburn

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pp. 79-92

Wildlife use airport habitats for a variety of reasons, including breeding, raising young, resting, taking refuge from predators, and locating sources of water. But the chief motivation for most individuals to encroach on airports is food. Depending on the specific...

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9: Managing Airport Stormwater to Reduce Attraction to Wildlife

Bradley F. Blackwell, David Felstul, and Thomas W. Seamans

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pp. 93-104

An airport is a component of the landscape, contributing to and subject to local- and landscape-level factors that affect wildlife populations and the hazards that these species pose to aviation (Blackwell et al. 2009, Martin et al. 2011). Water resources at and...

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10: Managing Turfgrass to Reduce Wildlife Hazards at Airports

Brian E. Washburn and Thomas W. Seamans

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pp. 105-116

Multiple factors—including safety regulations, economic considerations, location, and attractiveness to wildlife recognized as hazardous to aviation— influence the choice of land cover at airports. The principal land cover at airports within North...

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11: Wildlife Conservation and Alternative Land Uses at Airports

James A. Martin, Tara J. Conkling, Jerrold L. Belant, Kristin M. Biondi, Bradley F. Blackwell, Travis L. DeVault, Esteban Fernández- Juricic, Paige M. Schmidt, and Thomas W. Seamans

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pp. 117-126

Given all the attention paid throughout this book to minimizing the risk of wildlife–aircraft strikes, the title of this chapter may seem like an oxymoron. This book has emphasized management as related to the hazardous (to aircraft) sector of biodiversity. In...

Part III: Wildlife Monitoring

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12: Understanding Animal Movements at and near Airports

Jerrold L. Belant, Brian E. Washburn, and Travis L. DeVault

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pp. 129-140

Understanding movements of hazardous wildlife species at and near airports is critical to formulating effective management strategies for reducing aviation risk. Animal movements vary daily, seasonally, and annually and are based on broad biological and...

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13: Radar Technology to Monitor Hazardous Birds at Airports

Sidney A. Gauthreaux Jr. and Paige M. Schmidt

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pp. 141-152

Bird strikes are the most common wildlife hazard to aviation safety (Dolbeer et al. 2000). Advances in habitat management at airports through the elimination and reduction of attractants, in combination with hazing and lethal control, have reduced avian hazards...

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14: Avian Survey Methods for Use at Airports

Bradley F. Blackwell, Paige M. Schmidt, and James A. Martin

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pp. 153-166

Adverse effects and damage caused by interactions between humans and wildlife are increasing (De- Stephano and DeGraaf 2003). To manage wildlife effectively— whether to mitigate damage, to enhance safety...

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15: Conclusions and Future Directions

Jerrold L. Belant, Travis L. DeVault, and Bradley F. Blackwell

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pp. 167-172

Although the management of wildlife at airports has seen great progress in recent decades, wildlife collisions with aircraft continue to pose risks to human safety and economic losses to the aviation industry...

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Appendix: Regulations for Wildlife Management at Airports

Richard A. Dolbeer

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pp. 173-178

In 1990, the 190 member nations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted, in Annex 14 to the Convention on Civil International Aviation, three recommended management practices regarding bird hazards to...


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pp. 179-181

E-ISBN-13: 9781421410838
E-ISBN-10: 1421410834
Print-ISBN-13: 9781421410821
Print-ISBN-10: 1421410826

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 53 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2013