It’s a fact that biologists trap birds of prey on the airfield and safely relocate them. This practice helps avoid birdstrike (learn about them here). In addition, also use a variety of methods to ensure that birds don’t get too comfortable near the airfield. For example starter’s pistols, shooting firecrackers and sounding an air horn. Read on to learn more
BirdStrike Committee USA (BSC USA) is a volunteer organization whose mission is to promote wildlife strike awareness and reporting. It’s fundamental goal is mitigating wildlife hazards to aviation. One of the members, Nick Atwell -who also is the Aviation Wildlife Manager at Port Of Portland Airport– wrote a very interesting article for the spring newsletter focusing on traps
Trapping & Transporting
The spring trapping season is here! Raptors are resilient animals, but special care must be taken during trapping and translocation to ensure that each event is as humane, injury, and stress-free as possible to the raptor.
Transport boxes/carriers should be specific to the size of the raptor to reduce chance of injury, and it’s best to use transport boxes/carriers that are slightly larger than the raptor. If the carrier is too small, the raptor can damage feathers and wings. Conversely, if the carrier is too large, the captured raptor may thrash around and sustain injuries.
Suitable covers should be used to reduce the level of stress while in transport and to make sure that they have plenty of ventilation.
«At PDX, we avoid using duct tape to cover air holes. We use a fitted piece of plastic that lasts longer and will not expose raptors to the adhesive and fabric mesh in the tape.» Nick Atwell, Aviation Wildlife Manager at Port Of Portland Airport
The use of these measures and other best management practices (BMPs) help to prevent adverse effects to the captured animal during translocation.
We had the opportunity to interview Adrian Luna, Head of Wildlife Management Office Aeropuertos Argentina 2000of 35 airports across Argentina, who shared some interesting insights.
Eclipse Interviewer (EI): Can you tell us your experience on using traps?
Adrián Luna (AL): From my point of view, trapping at airports is a method that supports controlling the population of some species and also is useful to neutralize some wildlife that, according to it behaviour are real risk-generators for airport operation.
The use of traps will be useful as long as professionals understand their finality and the perjudice that may occur due to an incorrect use of them
EI: Do you use traps on all the 35 airports?
AL: All of our airports have a provision of traps for common species, birds and mammals. This doesn’t mean that we permanently use them.
Trapping is an activity that is not as frecuent as other methods. At our airports with the usage of traps we capture dogs, foxes, some felines and common pigeons among others.
EI: Can you give us some advice on using traps?
AL: The use of traps demands attention with the trapped species: it is essential that they don’t stay abandoned. It’s mandatory to inform the operators that trapps have been activated, so they can be correctly controlled.
If it’s misused, the trap can turn back to us and become a atracttion focus for other species so it would never be activated “just in case”.
Adrian Luna had the chance to check out our new device, Eclipse Smart Traps. Through it, when a trap activates it records a short video and send an alert to EWC Software.
«This device is a huge boost and help for operators: that way we can immediately react when wildlife is trapped, so it’s suffering is diminished and no harm occur to them.
Also, operators don’t have to lose valuable time checking traps all over the airside and allows them to carry on other tasks.»
Eclipse Widlife: Birdstrike & Airfield Devices
With EWC Smart Devices you can save time and multiple human factors, improving your birdstrike prevention programme. Monitoring traps without crossing the airfield, or in locations outside the airport.
With sensors and Image Detection technology, you can do it from the far. Install IOT Cameras in key locations, activate devices such as propane cannons, EWC Pyro System from a distance, save time and multiple the productivity of workers.
After reading the article… Do you consider now the use of traps to avoid birdstrikes?