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Collisions between wildlife and aircraft are a major safety concern for international aviation. In the Americas, vultures (Cathartidae) are considered to be one of the most hazardous bird species to airport operations. In this study, we evaluated the use of translocations as a management technique to reduce vulture abundance near the Manaus International Airport (MAO), Manaus, Brazil. The MAO is one of the busiest and most strategically important airports in South America, often referred to as the gateway to the Brazilian Amazon. We captured, wing-tagged, and translocated 98 vultures between August and October 2013 and between January and April 2014. The wing-tags were colored plastic tags specifically developed to tag vultures to enhance identification in flight and not alter bird behavior. The tagged vultures were translocated different distances (100, 150, and 200 km) from MAO. Only 25.5% of translocated vultures returned to the airport. However, the relative abundance of vultures did not differ between monitoring periods before and after captures and translocations. Our results demonstrated that the translocations failed to decrease MAO vulture abundance. We recommend habitat modifications associated with nonlethal (dispersion by bird repellents) and lethal (kill some individuals reinforcing dispersion) strategies to reduce vulture bird strike risks.
Novaes, Weber Galvão; Abreu, Tarcísio Lyra dos Santos; and Guerta, Rafael Soave
"Assessing Vulture Translocation as a Management Tool to Mitigate Airport Bird Strikes,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 14
, Article 19.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol14/iss2/19