The 12-minute video, subtitled Your Guide to Reporting Wildlife Strikes, presents step-by-step instructions about how to collect and submit samples, along with a strike report, following a bird-aircraft collision, whether the strike produced a whole bird carcass, feathers, or smeared matter. “Snarge” is the biological remnants of a bird strike often found on the aircraft or in its components, such as the engine or nose cone.
Once samples are collected, the materials should be shipped to the Smithsonian Institution’s Feather Identification Laboratory to determine the species of bird involved. Identification is an important step in providing information about the species involved in strikes at and around an airport. By tracking that detail, airport wildlife biologists and managers can develop a specific management plan to reduce hazards at a particular airport.
Strikes, Snarge and Safety notes that while some bird/aircraft collisions are famous, every strike can - and should - get the same review at the SI Feather ID Lab. The lab has identified 7,660 samples for the civilian aircraft database since 2000 in addition to more than 30,000 samples for military aviation. The video was developed for use by aviation at all levels, including commercial, general and military aviation.
Prior to the forced landing of US Air Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January 2009, about 20 percent of strikes were reported. Awareness has prompted increased reporting, currently estimated at about 39 percent for commercial aviation but less than 5 percent for general aviation.
Wildlife Services, which maintains the strike reporting database for the Federal Aviation Administration, notes that less than half of the reports in past years identify the species involved, which is vital information to develop methods to reduce the likelihood of strikes. In 2011, the number of strikes identifying the bird to species level reached 54 percent for the first time.
Through a balanced effort of research and wildlife management, WS biologists are reducing the risk of wildlife caused damage to U.S. aviation at airports and military airbases in the United States and internationally.
DVD copies will be available in July from APHIS.Publications@APHIS.USDA.gov. Strikes, Snarge and Safety currently can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OhJXexmmTg&list=PLF1BE3AC34367E99E&feature=plcp .
With Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, APHIS works tirelessly to create and sustain opportunities for America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Each day, APHIS promotes U.S. agricultural health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and carries out wildlife damage management activities, all to safeguard the nation’s $157 billion agriculture, fishing and forestry industries. In the event that a pest or disease of concern is detected, APHIS implements emergency protocols and partners with affected states and other countries to quickly manage or eradicate the outbreak. To promote the health of U.S. agriculture in the international trade arena, APHIS develops and advances science-based standards with trading partners to ensure America’s agricultural exports, valued at more than $137 billion annually, are protected from unjustified restrictions.
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