Template for the Development of an Airport Wildlife Management Plan

SECTION B: AIRPORT WILDLIFE
MANAGEMENT PLAN

14. Determination of Wildlife Management Activities for XXX Airport

Section A of this AWMP has presented detailed information on:

  1. aircraft movement statistics, including types;
  2. wildlife hazards and their habitats and movements; and
  3. a risk assessment for this airport.

In Section B (chapters 1 and 2), typical management tools that can be used on and off the airport have been discussed. In the following chapters, management activities that are intended to remove or manage the hazards and mitigate risks created by those hazards will be detailed.

This section has been broken into first, second and third priority. The planned activities have been developed from a review of the problem species, what attracts them into the conflict zone (whether on or off the airport) and steps taken to address both the attractants (e.g., short grass, open water, small mammals or worms as food) and the species themselves (e.g., dispersal of gulls).

It is important to note that steady improvement in wildlife management at the airport does not mean that all activities need to be undertaken in the first instance. It is intended that this plan will provide guidance on management priorities. Progress will be made towards plan objectives, as amended from time to time, over the next several years.

[The following sections must be developed from the previous information that has been presented in this document. Provided here are two fictitious examples of first priority and one each of second and third. These should be deleted and completed for your airport. Note that the most effective techniques are identified in TP11500E Wildlife Control procedures Manual (Transport Canada 2002)].

14.1 First Priority

Canada Goose

Highest Airport Risk Ranking: Moderate
Management Priority: High

Summary:
This species was ranked high priority because it is frequently seen at the airport, and can fly across aircraft approaches in the afternoons, when they move to a frequently used portion of the XYZ River. Geese occasionally forage on the airport grass and annually attempt to nest at the ponds. It is a large-sized bird, has flocking habits and a relatively slow flight. The species is generally present from March through December.

The following steps will be undertaken:

  1. A zero-tolerance policy will be implemented for geese at the airport.
  2. The ponds on the airport will be filled to the extent possible.
  3. Ponds to remain for stormwater management will be overwired.
  4. Any future redesign of drainage features will minimize waterfowl habitat, steep sides (4 to 1), hard edges and no vegetation where possible, pipes should be used where possible.
  5. Wetland vegetation associated with drainage features will be cut and minimized in extent.
  6. Grass length at the airport in wetter areas that cannot be cut by traditional methods will be maintained at a minimum height of 30 to 50 cm.
  7. In short grass areas, fertilizer will not be part of the grass management regime.
  8. Local geese at the airport will be shot in March to prevent nesting and in the fall to reinforce deterrents.
  9. Pyrotechnics (reinforced with live shooting) will be used whenever geese are seen during wildlife patrols or reported by staff or pilots. Patrols specifically for geese will be increased during April and especially during August when geese begin to occur at the airport again after their flightless period.
  10. A PowerPointT hazard awareness program will be developed for geese.
  11. The awareness program will be presented to: a) the local municipality to seek assistance with managing the stormwater pond along Regional Road 28 (Figure 3 - Section A) and regional goose numbers in general; b) the adjacent golf course to see if there is mutual interest in goose management, and c) local farmers to encourage stubble ploughing and avoidance of grain crops, where feasible.

A forb-rich grass management technique will not be an objective at this time, as this may increase use by small mammals, European Hare, White-tailed Deer and raptors.

Ring-billed Gull

Highest Airport Risk Ranking: Moderate
Management Priority: High

Summary:
This species was ranked high priority because it is frequently seen at the airport, feeds on worms and loafs on the runway. A medium-sized bird, it also has flocking habits and relatively slow flight. The species is present year round, with larger number in fall and early winter. It may fly across aircraft approach when birds are moving between the landfill and other attractants, or towards the City along the XYZ River, or between the City and XZY Lake (a potential seasonal roost). Insufficient data are available to be certain on flightlines and potential risks. There has been one serious strike at this airport involving an unidentified gull species.

The following steps will be undertaken:

  1. In the spring and fall, precipitation events that cause worms to emerge onto the runway and taxi surfaces in great numbers will result in mechanical sweeping to remove the worms.
  2. Generally, short grass length at the airport will be increased to 12 cm and cut to a minimum of 9 cm.
  3. The small ponds will be eliminated at the airport and/or overwired.
  4. Gulls will be selectively shot at the airport to reinforce deterrents.
  5. Pyrotechnics and report shells (reinforced with live shooting) will be used whenever gulls are seen during wildlife patrols. Patrols specifically for gulls will be increased when monitoring shows increased use of the airport.
  6. All garbage bins on site will be wildlife proof.
  7. Airport policy to ban feeding of wildlife by staff and visitors will be posted and initiated.
  8. A PowerPointT hazard awareness program for gulls will be developed and presented to: a) the landfill operator with a request that the landfill prepare a Gull Management Plan (safety and liability will be stressed), and b) local farmers, primarily the two hotspots, to encourage night ploughing.
  9. If deemed necessary, the airport will formally request a risk assessment for the gull problem, citing safety concerns. The airport will also ask to be circulated on any certification process for the landfill.

14.2 Second Priority

White-tailed Deer

Highest Airport Risk Ranking: Moderate
Management Priority: Moderate

Summary:
This species is ranked moderate, rather than high, because the use of an ElectroBraidTM fence has reduced deer observations by 90% at the airport. Deer cause significant damage when they are struck by aircraft. They are also particularly active at dawn and dusk and during the night when low light conditions make them hard to see. They frequent the ponds, especially in summer, as well as long grass area, they use to frequently cross the airport area. They are infrequent or absent in typical winters.

The following steps will be undertaken:

  1. A zero tolerance policy for deer incursions will be continued.
  2. The ElectroBraid T fence will be inspected once daily and repairs made as needed, particular attention will be applied to crossings of drainage features.
  3. Once weekly during the growing season, vegetation will be cut along the entire electric fence with a trimmer to avoid short circuits.
  4. Interference by deep snow will be monitored and appropriate actions taken, this will mean the turning off of one or two strands, or the entire fence unless tracks indicate deer activity.
  5. Long grass areas will be maintained at a height not exceeding 50 cm.
  6. The small ponds will be eliminated at the airport or overwired.

14.3 Third Priority

Coyote

Highest Airport Risk Ranking: Low
Management Priority: Low

Summary:
This species is ranked low, rather than moderate, because it is likely that only one or two pairs frequent the area. They also tend to displace Red Fox and control a number of other potentially hazardous species such as European Hare, Killdeer, nesting waterfowl, limit the abundance or prey for raptors (e.g., voles), or provide disturbance to White-tailed Deer. On balance, the active control of Coyotes is not currently anticipated unless dens are actually located on the site, but this could change if numbers increase or behaviour changes.

The following steps will be undertaken:

  1. This species will be carefully monitored for changes in numbers or behaviour.
  2. Coyote dens on the airport property will be removed or destroyed in the early summer to reduce the potential for young, inexperienced animals wandering airside.
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