U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Landscape and Urban Planning 119 (2013) 64– 73; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.06.005


Design of privately-owned stormwater impoundments within or near airport siting criteria has received little attention with regard to potential hazards posed to aviation safety. In particular, minimizing use of these impoundments by bird species recognized as hazardous to aviation poses an important challenge. Emergent vegetation, shoreline irregularity, and proximity of other water resources are linked to avian richness and diversity within wetlands, as well as bird use of stormwater impoundments on airports. We predicted also that impoundments with bank slope >20% and those functioning as detention facilities, where water is periodically drawn down, would negatively influence use by birds; and that shoreline-vegetation diversity and local land-use diversity would be positively correlated with use. Over 104 weeks(March 2008 to March 2010), we surveyed bird use of 40 stormwater impoundments in the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan area, Lee County, AL, USA, typical of privately-owned facilities located within or near airport siting criteria. We quantified local-scale and site-specific parameters possibly affecting bird use and evaluated fit for 17 a priori models relative to detection of 10 individual avian foraging guilds recognized as hazardous to aviation safety. Relative likelihoods of best-approximating models (Akaike weights) ranged from approximately 0.42 to 0.92. Based on best-approximating models for at least five of the 10 guilds, we suggest that broad reduction in use of stormwater impoundments, located within or near airport siting criteria, by bird species hazardous to aviation can be achieved via designs which minimize perimeter, surface area, and the ratio of open water to emergent vegetation.

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