Template for the Development of an Airport Wildlife Management Plan

SECTION A: RISK ASSESSMENT

10. Discussion of Key Hazards

Each of the species (e.g., Turkey Vulture) or groups of similar species (e.g., gulls) appearing in Table 8 are discussed in this section.

This detailed discussion uses habitat information from Section 7 and addresses flight lines, flocking behaviour and use of seasonal food sources or other attractants. Seasonal, temporal (time of day) and spatial patterns of habitat use (where they are and why) will also be discussed.

This section also reviews observed or known behavioural characteristics of the species (e.g., flocking) and identifies the reasons for the presence of these species and their movement patterns or particular behaviour that has led to their designation as Key Hazards at this airport.

This summary will rely on information already presented in this document, other reports if they are available (e.g., gull hazard assessments), and information that is available in the literature for these particular species (e.g., Transport Canada, 2001b; 2002).

Each species or group of species is addressed in the following tabular pattern, which is presented with one species per page.

10.1 Hazard Assessments

The Mass/flocking rank is a scale of 1 to 6 that considers the mass and flocking characteristics of a species. Those with the most mass that also flock are ranked 1 (highest) while the smallest non-flocking are ranked 6 (lowest). See Section 11 (Risk Assessment) for more details.

[Some example sheets are provided, text is to be substituted.]

Canada Goose
Mass/Flocking Rank (1-6):
1
Species Protection Status:
Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Seasonality (time of year):
March to early December, generally absent mid-June to late July, but persistent in April. Very few after freeze-up until the following thaw.
Temporal (time of day):
Not known. Generally tends to be more active just before dusk and after dawn.
Spatial (where in the area the hazard exists, hotspots):
Uses open crop fields in fall, flooded fields in spring, attempts to nest in ponds on site (usually shot under permit). Will forage on airfield. Frequently on river within high risk zone. Concentration at pond near Xyz Creek may overfly airport. May use racetrack (unknown), frequent on Xyz River near hydroline.
Behaviours of Concern (e.g., flocking, loafing on apron, flightlines, feeding in grass, crossing runway):
Flocks, slow evasive actions, feeding in high risk zones, flying thorough high risk zones, but most do tend to be lower than 100 m agl. Local roost site(s) and flightlines not known.
Discussion of Numbers (peak counts, low counts, breeding pairs):
Few counts available, up to three or four pairs have attempted to nest, flocks usually less than 40.
Reasons Why Species is Present in Area (e.g., food source, landfill, roost):
Feeding on turf and on croplands. Nesting and attraction to nest sites in wetlands.
Sources of Information for Species in this Area (list reports and other sources):
None known.
Strike Summary:
One strike reported.
Other Comments:
Breeding birds controlled by killing, hazing works for visitors, but special concerns remain for fly-throughs.

Gulls (mostly Ring-billed Gull)
Mass/Flocking Rank:
3 for Ring-billed Gull, 2 for Herring Gull
Species Protection Status:
Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Seasonality (time of year):
February to November, less common from late April to late July, most common in spring and fall.
Temporal (time of day):
Move from roosts to feeding areas daily.
Spatial (where in the area the hazard exists, hotspots):
Concentrate at wet fields, hay while being cut, ploughing operations, landfill. Forage on runway for worms (especially during and after wet weather), short and mown grass for invertebrates. May move across high risk zones, may follow river when moving from landfill to City.
Behaviours of Concern (e.g., flocking, loafing on apron, flightlines, feeding in grass, crossing runway):
Flocking, use of airside areas, flightlines may be across high risk areas.
Discussion of Numbers (peak counts, low counts, breeding pairs):
No counts available.
Reasons Why Species is Present in Area (e.g., food source, landfill, roost):
Food sources as listed above, loafing on runway, flightlines to roost and feeding areas (not known).
Sources of Information for Species in this Area (list reports and other sources):
None known.
Strike Summary:
One significant strike, resulting in substantial engine damage.
Other Comments:
Need information on flightlines, numbers and movements to and from the local landfill site.

Blackbirds
(Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird)
Mass/Flocking Rank:
4
Species Protection Status:
Provincial Fish and Wildlife Act
Seasonality (time of year):
February to December.
Temporal (time of day):
All day, no details on daily timing of flocking behaviour in fall.
Spatial (where in the area the hazard exists, hotspots):
Over and around runways, grass areas, shrub thickets.
Behaviours of Concern (e.g., flocking, loafing on apron, flightlines, feeding in grass, crossing runway):
Flocking in fall, low flying, often crossing airfield. Flocks will also perch
in trees and circle around any raptors in area.
Discussion of Numbers (peak counts, low counts, breeding pairs):
No counts available, some flocks can number hundreds of birds.
Reasons Why Species is Present in Area (e.g., food source, landfill, roost):
Seeds and short turf for feeding. Feeding on long and short grass. Some nesting, mainly in long grass and around ponds. Primary roost locations not known.
Sources of Information for Species in this Area (list reports and other sources):
None known.
Strike Summary:
No strikes known or reported.
Other Comments:

Great Blue Heron
Mass/Flocking Rank:
2
Species Protection Status:
Provincial Fish and Wildlife Act
Seasonality (time of year):
February to November.
Temporal (time of day):
All day.
Spatial (where in the area the hazard exists, hotspots):
Runways.
Behaviours of Concern (e.g., flocking, loafing on apron, flightlines, feeding in grass, crossing runway):
Low slow flight across airfield, low maneuverability.
Discussion of Numbers (peak counts, low counts, breeding pairs):
Usually present in low numbers (one to several).
Reasons Why Species is Present in Area (e.g., food source, landfill, roost):
Feeding on amphibians and fish etc., in ponds and ditches.
Sources of Information for Species in this Area (list reports and other sources):
2002 XYZ consultants report; OMNR.
Strike Summary:
One strike in 2004.
Other Comments:

White-tailed Deer
Mass/Flocking Rank:
1
Species Protection Status:
Provincial Fish and Wildlife Act
Seasonality (time of year):
Year round, less active mid-winter and rarely on the airside at that time.
Temporal (time of day):
Often active at dawn and particularly dusk.
Spatial (where in the area the hazard exists, hotspots):
Move from forested lands to forage airside, mostly within forest patches. Also use wetland ponds for feeding and avoiding biting insects in spring.
Behaviours of Concern (e.g., flocking, loafing on apron, flightlines, feeding in grass, crossing runway):
Groups encroaching on runway in poor light conditions and at night.
Discussion of Numbers (peak counts, low counts, breeding pairs):
No counts available.
Reasons Why Species is Present in Area (e.g., food source, landfill, roost):
Feeding on forbs and wetland plants, movement between forest blocks.
Sources of Information for Species in this Area (list reports and other sources):
OMNR, local hunters.
Strike Summary:
No strikes known or reported.
Other Comments:
Hunted annually on property. Generally considered the highest risk species at airports.

American Beaver
Mass/Flocking Rank:
Not applicable
Species Protection Status:
Provincial Fish and Wildlife Act
Seasonality (time of year):
April to November.
Temporal (time of day):
Not applicable.
Spatial (where in the area the hazard exists, hotspots):
Wetland ponds and drainage features.
Behaviours of Concern (e.g., flocking, loafing on apron, flightlines, feeding in grass, crossing runway):
Create ponded areas which attract hazardous wildlife species.
Discussion of Numbers (peak counts, low counts, breeding pairs):
No counts available.
Reasons Why Species is Present in Area (e.g., food source, landfill, roost):
Poor drainage, lots of poplar available.
Sources of Information for Species in this Area (list reports and other sources):
None known.
Strike Summary:
Not applicable, but species attracted to ponds have been struck.
Other Comments:
Regularly trapped.
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