Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finding a win/win for humans and wildlife!

When I was a natural resources manager at the U.S. Coast Guard, one of the challenges was dealing with wildlife at airfields.  These facilities made great wildlife habitat (lots of open space with few roads or buildings), but there was always a concern about birdstrikes that could endanger planes.  This type of push/pull between environmental protection and the needs of humans (they’re often the same, but not always!) is what makes environmental work challenging and, yes, fun!  When working on natural resources issues, I usually felt that I could find a win/win solution, if I were willing to try something new or think outside the box.  Along those lines, there’s a new study from Australia (see the article in Conservation magazine) that looks into the bird/airfield issue and makes recommendations for moving wildlife and birds.  One interesting finding – longer grass helps to reduce the number of birds that might fly into planes.  A possible win/win – less maintenance (read less fossil fuel use) and more airplane safety! (photo credit: Conservation magazine)

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