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Wildlife at Airports

DeVault, Travis L., Blackwell, Bradley F., Belant, Jerrold L., and Begier, Michael J.
Wildlife damage management technical series 2017
Collisions between aircraft and wildlife (wildlife strikes) are common occurrences across the developed world. Wildlife strikes are not only numerous, but also costly. Estimates suggest that wildlife strikes cost the civil aviation industry in the U.S. up to $625 million annually, and nearly 500 people have been killed in wildlife strikes worldwide. Most wildlife strikes occur in the airport environment: 72 percent of all strikes occur when the aircraft is ≤500 ft (152 m) above ground level, and 41 percent of strikes occur when the aircraft is on the ground during landing or takeoff. Thus, management efforts to reduce wildlife hazards are focused at the airport. There are many techniques used to reduce wildlife hazards at airports, and these usually work best when used in an integrative fashion. Here, we discuss the available data on wildlife strikes with aircraft, summarize legal considerations, explain why wildlife are attracted to airports and how to identify important wildlife attractants, describe commonly-used tools and techniques for reducing wildlife hazards at airports, and explain how airports can enlist the help of professional wildlife biologists to manage wildlife hazards.
1 online resource (19 pages)
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
USDA publications