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20 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND INFORMATION NEEDS The use of harassment, repellent, and deterrent techniques that may not reflect bird responses in free-ranging situations. is an important component of integrated wildlife damage It is evident that advances in our understanding of the effec- management programs at airports. Nonlethal techniques to tiveness of these techniques for reducing bird use of airports reduce human-wildlife conflicts, including bird collisions and other areas will require more rigorous experimental with aircraft, are generally more acceptable to the public than designs at spatial scales relevant to ultimate airport appli- lethal techniques (e.g., population control). However, it must cations. Once efficacies of individual techniques are estab- be recognized that most harassment, repellent, and deter- lished, a second suite of experiments that integrates multiple rent techniques have only limited effectiveness in reducing techniques to assess their efficacy in combination will be bird use of specific areas. The limited efficacy is inherently required. Finally, and most important, greater emphasis grounded in ecological principles including predation, risk, needs to be placed on the underlying ecological principles foraging, and distribution theories, as well as territorial and that are associated with the desired avian responses to deter- neophobic behavior, among others. These techniques and rent techniques. Once understood, the ecological principles principles must be considered in the context of an integrated that have previously resulted in the limited effectiveness of management program that should include aspects of resource harassment, deterrent, and repellent techniques can be used (e.g., food and habitat) distribution at large spatial scales, as to modify these techniques and maximize their effectiveness well as monitoring program efficacy. to further reduce bird collisions with aircraft. Considerable time and financial effort is expended on Many of these techniques are currently being employed by reducing bird and other wildlife presence on airports. How- airport biologists and personnel but have not been evaluated ever, these efforts often are not quantified or only partially using rigorous experimental designs. Based on qualitative quantified. Spending additional time to collect and sum- assessments, several of these techniques appear to be effec- marize data in a systematic fashion on effort and resources tive in dispersing birds. To better understand the potential expended and bird response to control efforts would allow efficacy of these techniques, a survey of select airports could airports to conduct bird control programs in an adaptive be performed that requests information on specific tech- resource management framework. This approach would niques employed, characteristics of these techniques, and help airport managers and biologists to make informed deci- estimated efficacy. This survey could be analyzed to provide sions on the effectiveness of techniques and to conduct basic a rank order list of potentially viable techniques and meth- economic analysis that supports program operations most ods. This list could be used to help prioritize future research likely to achieve airport goals. Additionally, there is need to and maximize effectiveness of limited research funds. develop criteria for data collection to assess the efficacy of tools and techniques to reduce bird use of airports. Models In addition, a comprehensive management program to from these data could be developed to inform airport biolo- minimize bird use of airports will require improved under- gists and used as guidance for conduct of more rigorous sci- standing of other aspects of management, including effects entific experiments. of habitat alterations on bird use and viability of lethal control alone or in combination with other techniques. Future syn- Interpretation and inference of a majority of research con- theses or reports of these areas of management, integrated ducted on avian harassment, repellent, and deterrent tech- with this synthesis, will provide airport wildlife biologists niques were limited by experimental design, notably lack of and personnel performing control measures a more thorough replication and inclusion of reference sites or populations. A and comprehensive framework to improve the effectiveness number of other studies were conducted in captive situations of management programs.