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BIRD HARASSMENT, REPELLENT, AND DETERRENT TECHNIQUES FOR USE ON AND NEAR AIRPORTS SUMMARY Birds and airplanes are a dangerous combination. Airport managers and other transporta- tion safety and security officials have spent significant financial and personnel resources in an effort to prevent or mitigate the possibility of aircraft collisions with wildlife, including birds. These collisions pose substantial risks to human safety: wildlife strikes have resulted in the loss of more than 200 human lives and more than 200 military and civil aircraft since 1988. Economic considerations of wildlife collisions are also a concern for the aviation industry, as annual economic losses from wildlife-related damage to civil aircraft are con- servatively estimated by Allan in 2002 to exceed $1.2 billion worldwide and by Dolbeer et al. in 2010 to reach $600 million in the United States alone. Following the highly publicized bird strike that forced US Airways Flight 1549 to make an emergency landing in the Hud- son River in January 2009, public awareness of wildlife collisions with aircraft is presently at an all-time high. Nonetheless, research-backed information on current approaches to bird deterrent techniques at airports is often scattered across different disciplines and fields of research, and few attempts have been made to develop a comprehensive assessment of these techniques. The objective of this synthesis is to provide airport managers and biologists with a docu- ment that reviews techniques for reducing bird collisions with aircraft and their relative effectiveness. To gather relevant research and information on current practices, primary and grey literature were reviewed using multiple data sources, and six airports surveyed as case studies from which to obtain qualitative information on existing bird management strategies and their perceived effectiveness. From this information, an overview of vari- ous types of techniques (e.g., exclusion and effigies) and their relative effectiveness was developed. Concepts of avian ecology were also summarized and these concepts related to the degree of attractiveness, or site fidelity, to areas containing bird-specific resources (e.g., food, roosting, or loafing areas) found at or near airports. Site fidelity was then examined in the context of control techniques most likely to be successful in dispersing birds. As expected, control techniques varied markedly across species of birds and depend on fac- tors such as seasonality, fidelity, and physiological characteristics of target species. Similar to other control programs, integrated damage management, which includes harassment, repellent, and exclusion techniques as well as other practices such as habitat management and potentially lethal control, appears to be more effective than single techniques. Because many of these control methods do not have sufficient empirical evidence to support or refute the effectiveness of the techniques being employed under different cir- cumstances, further assessment of these techniques is necessary, either through directed, rigorous scientific study or initially through quantification of existing techniques used at airports to help refine priorities for research. Additionally, reviews of other aspects of bird management techniques at airports, including habitat and population management, are warranted. This synthesis is intended to provide a baseline assessment of informa- tion from which to approach further research into wildlife control techniques for the aviation industry.
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