Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented at 2011 Bird Strike North America Conference, September 12-15, 2011, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.


Copyright 2011 García-Burgos, Fernández-Buces & Colunga



Airports are due to maintain aerodrome conditions free of vegetation for visibility and safety, according to international regulations

Wildlife Hazard Management at Airports: A Manual for Airport Personnel

Edward C. Cleary Richard A. Dolbeer


Habitat modification means changing the environment to make it less attractive or inaccessible to the problem wildlife. All wildlife require food, cover, and water to survive. Any action that reduces, eliminates, or excludes one or more of these elements will result in a proportional reduction in the wildlife population at the airport.

The management of an airport’s airside ground cover to minimize bird activity is a controversial subject in North America. The general recommendation, based on studies in England in the 1960s and 1970s, has been to maintain a monoculture of grass at a height of 6-10 inches (Transport Canada) or 7-14 inches (U.S. Air Force).

Tall grass, by interfering with visibility and ground movements, is thought to discourage many species of birds from loafing and feeding. However, the limited studies conducted in North America have not provided a consensus of opinion on the utility of tall-grass management for airports.

What have we seen in our tropical/semiarid environments on 12 ASA airports?

Several native species prefer canopy/vegetation protected conditions than open spaces

Whereas induced grass

Favors the entry of generalist , opportunistic and/or exotic species:

Increases risk because of their size and gregarious habits.