Collisions between aircraft and birds, so-called "bird strikes," can result in serious damage to aircraft and even in the loss of lives. Information about the distribution of birds in the air and on the ground can be used to reduce the risk of bird strikes and their impact on operations en route and in and around air fields. Although a wealth of bird distribution and density data is collected by numerous organizations, these data are not readily available nor interpretable by aviation. This paper presents two national efforts, one in the Netherlands and one in the United States, to develop bird avoidance nodels for aviation. These models integrate data and expert knowledge on bird distributions and migratory behavior to provide hazard maps in the form of GIS-enabled Web services. Both models are in operational use for flight planning and flight alteration and for airfield and airfield vicinity management. These models and their presentation on the Internet are examples of the type of service that would be very useful in other fields interested in species distribution and movement information, such as conservation, disease transmission and prevention, or assessment and mitigation of anthropogenic risks to nature. We expect that developments in cyber-technology, a transition toward an open source philosophy, and higher demand for accessible biological data will result in an increase in the number of biological information systems available on the Internet.
Avian information systems: Developing web-based bird avoidance models
Shamoun-Baranes, J.; Bouten, W.; Buurma, L.; DeFusco, R.; Dekker, A.; Sierdsema, H.; Sluiter, F.; van Belle, J.; van Gasteren, H.; van Loon, E. (2008). Avian information systems: Developing web-based bird avoidance models. Ecology and Society, 13(2), 38.