Hareport hazard: Identifying hare activity patterns and increased mammal–aircraft strike risk at an International Airport

Samantha Ball*, Anthony Caravaggi, Fidelma Butler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract: Reported strike events between wildlife and aircraft are hazardous to aircraft and airfield operations and are increasing globally. To develop effective mitigation strategies, the relative hazard a species poses to aircraft, as well as information relating to its life history, are key to the development of effective mitigation strategies in Wildlife Hazard Management Plans. However, given the complex nature of airfield environments with access restrictions and the presence of sensitive equipment, the collection of high‐quality ecological data can be difficult. Here we use motion‐activated camera traps to collect activity data on a population of Irish hares (Lepus timidus hibernicus) inhabiting the airfield at Dublin International Airport, to investigate the link between hare activity and aircraft activity in relation to hare strikes. Camera traps revealed that the hare population at the airfield largely displayed a bimodal crepuscular activity pattern, with activity peaking at sunrise and at sunset. Recorded hare strike times at the airfield were closely associated with hare activity times with a high temporal overlap between these datasets. In comparison, hare activity and aircraft movement activity had a moderate overlap across all seasons, with strikes peaking at times with low aircraft movements. We demonstrate the importance of understanding the circadian and seasonal activity patterns of hazardous species at airfields for targeted strike mitigation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number293
Number of pages13
JournalRemote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation
Volume00
Issue number00
Early online date10 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Airfield management
  • circadian activity
  • wildlife hazard
  • wildlife management
  • wildlife strikes

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