Research Publications

Comparison of bird diversity on two different areas of Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek, Namibia

Aircraft – bird collisions are often the cause for aircraft accidents near airports. To monitor bird abundance and their behavior is essential in assessing the risk they pose towards aircraft and human lives. This study was conducted in the frame of the Wildlife and Aircraft Research Namibia Project (WARN) from January until June 2014 at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) to gain knowledge for further management strategies.
By using the Variable Circular Plot (VCP) method, the diversity of birds, both for the apron and an area with unmown grassland at HKIA was determined.
During this study, 1161 individual birds were recorded for Hosea Kutako, which belong to 40 bird species, of which 18 were recorded on the apron and 35 on the unmown grassland.
The birds recorded on the apron were mainly feeding (57%) on arthropods which were attracted by the apron lights, compared to behaviors at the unmown grassland, which was mainly perching, and flying but also nesting and displaying. Of the recorded species on the unmown grassland, only 5 of 35 species can be rated as high risk species, while there were 8 of 18 high risk species recorded on the apron.
The apron of Hosea Kutako is an attraction to high risk insectivorous species as a result of the presence of arthropods attracted to the apron lights and the results of this report can assist Namibian Airports Company (NAC) to consider the implementation of management strategies like the filtering of the apron lights at HKIA to emit a wavelength similar to yellow or orange lights reducing the number arthropods and birds feeding on them as suggested by D’Alton (2013).

Author(s): 

William Lloyed

Publication Date: 

June, 2014