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Monday, January 28 • 11:00am - 11:20am
(WILDLIFE: URBAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT) The FAA Wildlife Strike Database: An Untapped Source of Avian Movement Data

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AUTHORS: Bradley F. Blackwell, Morgan B. Pfeiffer, Travis L. DeVault, Thomas W. Seamans – USDA/APHIS/WS National Wildlife Research Center

ABSTRACT: Bird movements, particularly during migration, provide information on timing and species composition relative to climate change and population dynamics.  Movement data have been traditionally gleaned from observers for the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Audubon Christmas Bird Count, and via band returns.  More recently, weather and avian radars are contributing movement data (not necessarily specie-specific), and citizen science is providing observation data via Ebird.  An untapped and publically available source of species-specific movement data is the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Wildlife Strike Database.  From 1990–2016, 183,296 wildlife-aircraft collisions (strikes) were reported (179,542 in USA and 3,754 strikes by US-registered aircraft in foreign countries) to the FAA. Birds compose approximately 96% of reported strikes, and aircraft “sample” intensively a broad spectrum of altitudes and geography seasonally.  Approximately 529 bird species have been struck over the 27-year period.  Our purpose is to introduce this novel source of avian survey data as a potential compliment to current information on avian movements.  As such, we will discuss how strike data are collected, identified, reported, and inherent biases.  We will provide trends for March through July over the last ten years in reported strikes for six species (including a warbler, blackbird, shorebird, waterfowl, wading bird, and raptor) struck in the Mississippi Flyway and species relative strike frequency per the respective year.  We will relate these trends to the known spring migration movement timing and Ebird population trends for each species for the same region and period.  

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am

Attendees (1)