Hareport danger – researchers identify the most dangerous times for hares on Dublin Airport runway
Researchers have identified the times of day when hares are more likely to be hit by planes at Dublin airport – and believe their findings could help reduce the number of costly “runway roadkill” incidents around the world.
A study led by Samantha Ball, an Irish Research Council researcher at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES) at University College Cork, used motion-activated camera traps to collect activity data on the hare population at Dublin Airport, and used the data to determine when a hare attack or collision between wild animals was more likely to have occurred.
These new findings were published today in the journal Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.
The new study follows a paper published last year in which a team led by Ms. Ball found that collisions between wildlife and aircraft with mammals are increasing by as much as 68% annually in some countries, causing damage worth more than $ cost 103 million. in the United States alone over a 30-year period.
“First, we identified two distinct time periods of increased strike risk, usually around sunrise and in the hours approaching midnight,” explains Ms Ball.
“Of course, with day lengths varying throughout the year in Ireland, there is some seasonal variation here. We also found that the strike times of hares at the airport were closely related to the times of day when hares were most active at the airport, but when aircraft movements were relatively low.
“This tells us that we can focus strike prevention efforts — such as deterring tactics and runway patrols — directly on the hare population itself, rather than tackling the near-impossible task of altering aircraft activity to reduce the number of hare attacks. Reduce.
“This work has enabled us to identify periods throughout the day and year when the risk of a hare attack may be higher, indicating when strike prevention efforts can be stepped up to deter hares from the active runway. The research can also be applied to other airports, as although we focus here on the Irish hare at Dublin Airport, this method can be used to identify periods of increased strike risk with ground-dwelling species of concern worldwide, such as deer and big carnivores,” she said.
The paper “Hareport Hazard: Identification Hare Activity Patterns and Increased Risk of Mammal Aircraft Attack at an International Airport by Samantha Ball”, Anthony Caravaggi and Fidelma Butler will be published by Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.
Every year more mammals are affected by airplanes
Harreport hazard: identification of hare activity patterns and increased risk of mammal and aircraft attack at an international airport, Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation (2022). DOI: 10.1002/rse2.2934
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