Shared Link | "Tall Grasses Might Be Key to Cutting Birdstrikes" by Todd Petty via Audubon Magazine

An Audubon chapter is partnering with Dayton International Airport to reduce bird-aircraft collisions. (source link)
When birds and planes mix, the results can be deadly. Between 1990 and 2012, birdstrikes in the United States killed 23 people and injured 240, damaged nearly 12,000 aircraft, and slew more than 120,000 birds. But reducing the carnage may be as simple as letting the grass grow.

Many airports have large expanses of turf, mowed regularly to a length of about eight inches. Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm in Ohio has partnered with the Dayton International Airport on a different approach, planting tallgrass prairie near the airfield instead of mowing or planting crops. The thinking is that this will deter the larger birds that can bring down a plane, like geese and gulls, since they tend to avoid longer vegetation, which hinders their ability to spot predators, says Charity Krueger, executive director of Aullwood Audubon. Smaller, less dangerous birds, such as sparrows and meadowlarks, tend to hide in the longer growth for safety. The Dayton airport aims to replace as many as 1,100 acres of its surrounding land with tallgrass prairie.

It's the first such endeavor at a commercial airfield, though six military airfields in the eastern United States are also converting swaths of turf-grass to switchgrass. If they show that the approach decreases birdstrikes, efforts to replant native grasses near runways could take root across the country, says Krueger. "By working locally, it means we can have significant impact nationally."

Limiting birdstrikes is the primary objective, but the benefits don't stop there. The vegetation provides critical habitat for threatened species like the local Henslow's sparrow. And it will likely reduce the airport's carbon footprint by scaling back on the use of agricultural equipment, and lighten its chemical load thanks to the reduced use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.

Thank you for viewing this page

WWN's Free Community Newsletter relies on the help of its readers and advertisers to cover overhead costs that enable the WWN to exist. We need your help to continue! Thank you!
You do NOT need a PayPal Account. Use Square

Currently Trending in the Network

Copyright © 2011-2019. All Rights Reserved. Wonderful Women's Network, LLC. Your Community Newsletter Magazine. Committed to news, events, businesses and stories of Rockport-Fulton and Texas Coastal Bend Region. Duplication of content on this site without permission is prohibited by law. Information on this site is time sensitive and for general/entertainment purposes only. Opinion pieces/submitted articles and comments are the thoughts of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the WWN. Paid advertising through the WWN is not available to other general information publications. Always consult a licensed physician before taking medical or health advice. The WWN does not endorse any political party or candidate.