Deterrence of birds with an artificial predator, the RobotFalcon

Rolf F Storms, Claudio Carere, Robert Musters, Hans van Gasteren, Simon Verhulst, Charlotte K Hemelrijk*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Collisions between birds and airplanes can damage aircrafts, resulting in delays and cancellation of flights, costing the international civil aviation industry more than 1.4 billion US dollars annually. Driving away birds is therefore crucial, but the effectiveness of current deterrence methods is limited. Live avian predators can be an effective deterrent, because potential prey will not habituate to them, but live predators cannot be controlled entirely. Thus, there is an urgent need for new deterrence methods. We developed the RobotFalcon, a device modelled after the peregrine falcon, and tested its effectiveness to deter flocks of corvids, gulls, starlings and lapwings. We compared its effectiveness with that of a drone, and of conventional methods routinely applied at a military airbase. The RobotFalcon scared away bird flocks from fields immediately, and these fields subsequently remained free of bird flocks for hours. The RobotFalcon outperformed the drone and the best conventional method at the airbase (distress calls). Importantly, there was no evidence that bird flocks habituated to the RobotFalcon over the course of the fieldwork. We conclude that the RobotFalcon is a practical and ethical solution to drive away bird flocks with all advantages of live predators but without their limitations.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)20220497
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume19
Nummer van het tijdschrift195
DOI's
StatusPublished - 26-okt.-2022

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