A rapid assessment of species-specific bird strike risk at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana
The Kotoka International Airport in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, has in recent years been confronted with increased presence of birds posing great challenges to aviation safety due to a high risk of bird strikes. As part of measures to mitigate the negative impacts of increasing numbers of birds, a species-specific bird strike risk index (SSBR) was modelled and calculated for a total of 86 species recorded within and near the airport. Based on the SSBR index, four species were classified as ‘critical risk’ and another four species as ‘high risk’. All six species, namely Corvus albus, Necrosyrtes monachus, Milvus migrans parasitus, Bubulcus ibis, Falco biarmicus and Falco tinnunculus, constituting 7% of the total species assemblage, were considered ‘problem species’. During the intensive, albeit short, study period, we also recorded bird strikes of N. monachus, F. biarmicus and notably M. m. parasitus. We conclude that wildlife management to avert the risk of bird strikes could be successfully achieved by adopting both proactive and reactive measures to reduce the presence of problem species at the aerodrome.
Keywords: aerodrome, aviation safety, bird control, problem species, species-specific bird strike risk.