Abundance and diversity of birds around Mekelle Airport, Ethiopia, and their threat to aviation safety

Alelign A Alemayehu Y Bauer H Yonas M    

Abstract

Collisions between wildlife and aircraft are a serious concern both for economic and safety reasons. Thus, to prevent bird strikes it is necessary for airports to sufficiently identify potential problems with hazardous bird species. The abundance and species composition of birds and their threat to aircrafts in Mekelle were investigated. Both point and transect count method were employed to record the abundance and species composition of birds. Diversity indices of birds in four study sites were calculated using the Shannon-Wiener diversity index. We counted 3,694 individual birds and identified 68 species belonging to 29 families and 13 orders.  We found 43 species on the nearby Mekelle University Endayesus campus, 23 in the airfield (near the run way), 22 in Aynalem water reservoir and 21 in the municipal waste dump. The highest species diversity was recorded in Mekelle University Endayesus campus (H=2.658); the highest species evenness was observed in Mekelle city dumping site (E=0.3317). The airfield vegetation hosted many invertebrates and rodents; in Mekelle University Endayesus campus we observed lots of improper food leftovers from student cafeterias and lounges, and Aynalem micro-dam/reservoir and Mekelle city dumping site offered food, water and nesting sites for birds. The major birds that were a threat to aircraft were Lamprotornis chalybaeus, Onychognathus nabouroup, Columba guinea, Corvus albus, Spilopelia senegalensis, and Falco alopex. We conclude that there is substantial risk of bird strike which can be reduced by manipulating the foraging, nesting and roosting habitats near the airport.


MS Received Date:   2017-05-21  MS Accepted Date:  2017-07-07  MS Published Date:  2017-07-18
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Alelign A, Alemayehu Y., Bauer H., Yonas M. "Abundance and diversity of birds around Mekelle Airport, Ethiopia, and their threat to aviation safety" Journal of Zoology Studies 4.3 (2017): 29-36.
Citation in MLA Format
Alelign, A., Alemayehu, Y., Bauer, H., Yonas, M. (2017). Abundance and diversity of birds around Mekelle Airport, Ethiopia, and their threat to aviation safety. Journal of Zoology Studies, 4(3), 29-36.
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Alelign A, Alemayehu Y, Bauer H, Yonas M. Abundance and diversity of birds around Mekelle Airport, Ethiopia, and their threat to aviation safety. Journal of Zoology Studies. 2017; 4(3): 29-36.
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