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


Date of this Version



Seamans, T.W., J.A. Martin, and J.L. Belant. 2013. Tactile and auditory repellents to reduce wildlife hazards to aircraft. 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. 37-46.


U.S. government work.


Wildlife within the airport environment are hazards to human safety. Lethal removal of targeted individuals reduces the immediate threat, but other approaches should be integrated into control programs to make them more effective and to help meet legal and ethical considerations (Dolbeer et al. 1995). When negative media attention, special in terest groups, or calls for restrictive legislation influence public opinion, the resulting public pressure can preclude effective wildlife management and lead to subsequent population control problems (Torres et al. 1996, Coolahan and Snider 1998, Conover 2001). Nonlethal management activities to reduce wildlife use of airports may include habitat modifi cation, exclusion from roosting and nesting areas, and repelling animals from desired locations. When considering repellents alone, there are many that are untested, temporarily effective, or cost-prohibitive (Dol beer et al. 1995). Effective nonlethal repellents must affect some aspect of physical receptors or psychological perception of the intended targeted animals. In birds and mammals the primary physical receptors are visual (see Chapter 2), auditory, and tactile (Dooling 1982, Fay 1988, Clark 1998a). As explained in Chapter 3, the sense of smell is also important for birds and mammals. In this chapter we focus on auditory and tactile repellents, particularly the physiological bases for tact ile and auditory repellent effi cacy. We also examine some behavioral aspects of species that influence the effi cacy of repellents.

Included in

Life Sciences Commons