A SIMULATION-MODEL OF HELICOPTER DISTURBANCE OF MOLTING PACIFIC BLACK BRANT
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We describe a simulation model designed to study the effects of helicopter disturbance on molting Pacific black brant near Teshekpuk Lake, Alaska. Locations of 18118 brant were digitized into the model based on 10 years of population survey data. Bell 206 and Bell 412 helicopters were simulated flying across the molting grounds along two routes between two airfields. The model determined the behavioral and energetic response of birds encountered by the aircraft during an overflight. Altitude and frequency of overflights were held constant during a simulated 28-day molting period, but were varied among simulations. The model provided the degree of weight loss these birds experienced due to helicopter disturbance. The effects of overflights on brant were classified into five risk categories based on weight. For both routes, the number of flocks and birds in each category was determined for each altitude, aircraft type, and overflight frequency. Simulation results indicated that the model can be used to identify flight-line modifications that result in significantly decreased disturbance to the birds. 1994.
author list (cited authors)
MILLER, M. W., JENSEN, K. C., GRANT, W. E., & WELLER, M. W.
complete list of authors
MILLER, MW||JENSEN, KC||GRANT, WE||WELLER, MW