Townsville members train local airport staff on bird strikes

On 7th September 2017 Townsville Branch Members Norm Rains and Wal Threlfall ran a 5-hour training workshop in conjunction with the "Wildlife Hazard Management Plan" for Queensland Airport Limited staff (Aerodrome Reporting Officers) from Mt Isa, Longreach and Townsville. The workshop conducted at the Townsville Airport included "Bird Identification and behaviour, High and Moderate risk bird species (at the three airports), Habitat and Seasonal Influences, Foraging behaviour and the implication of open grasses, with the workshop concluding with a practical field exam.

The Townsville Airport is located adjacent to a local birding hotspot, the Town Common Conservation Park, the park has deep-water lagoons, seasonal wetlands, coastal woodlands, sheltered beaches, mangrove-lined tributaries and floodplains that fill each year during the wet summer months, up to 280 bird species have been recorded in the area.

According to recent worldwide data a majority of strikes occur either on or within 5 km of an airport

The Airport has experienced a significant bird strike rate over the last 5 years, Magpie Lark, Bush Stone-curlew, Black Kite and multiple strikes occurred with Plumed Whistling-duck to name a few, to counter this, the airport has a "Wildlife Hazard Management Plan" which aims to lower bird strikes and the risk to human lives and incident of aircraft damage, in some cases up to 500k damage has been reported on a single aircraft.

Image: Bush Stone - curlew by Chris Tzaros