Parameters Affecting Bird Use of Stormwater Impoundments in the Southeastern United States: Implications for Bird-Aircraft Collisions
Type of Degreethesis
Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
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Bird-aircraft collisions are a large and growing threat to aviation safety in the United States. Stormwater management impoundments in and around airports create conditions which attract hazardous wildlife species to air operations areas. Airport biologists and other stakeholders seek ways to design and manage these structures to reduce their relative attractiveness to hazardous wildlife species. Here I report on the results of a two-year observational study to quantify parameters influencing bird use of stormwater impoundments in a metropolitan area of the southeastern United States. My analysis demonstrates that while the influence of impoundment design features varies between foraging guilds, bird use of stormwater impoundments in the southeastern United States can broadly be reduced by minimizing impoundment area, eliminating standing water, increasing impoundment bank slope and locating impoundments so as to maximize their isolation from open water sources.