Date of this Version
Belant, J.L., B.E. Washburn, and T.L. DeVault. 2013. Understanding animal movements at and near airports. In: T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell, and J.L. Belant, editors. Wildlife in Airport Environments: Preventing Animal-Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, in association with The Wildlife Society. 128-136.
Understanding movements of hazardous wildlife species at and near airports is critical to formulating effective management strategies for reducing aviation risk. Animal movements vary daily, seasonally, and annually and are based on broad biological and ecological concepts, including foraging, reproduction, habitat characteristics, dispersal, and migration. As an energy conservation strategy. most animals minimize their movements to meet life requisites, which in turn presumably improves fitness. Animal movements in relation to airports can be direct; for example, Canada geese (Branta canadensis) flying onto an airfield because grass height and composition are suitable for loafing sites and as food. Animal movements in and around airports can also be indirect; for example, airports near large rivers may experience increased numbers of birds flying overhead during spring and autumn migrations, as rivers often facilitate bird navigation.