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The analysis of airports' physical factors impacts on wildlife

M. M. Радомська, I. V. Horobtsov, L. M. Cherniak, O. M. Tykhenko

Abstract: The impacts of manmade structures on wildlife are often underestimated due to misbelieve that wild animals avoid living in close proximity to any kind of technogenic object. However, such objects may offer a range of benefits to animals and thus become points of attraction, being still a source of hazards for these living organisms. The airports are considered to be dangerous industrial facilities for they create chemical and physical pollution, as well as host a variety of biohazards, originating from transported items and dense groups of population. Meanwhile they are often located outside the urban areas in previously pristine areas, specially allocated for this purpose and animals, whose habitat they occupy undergo all these impacts equally with passengers and staff. The aim of the research is to conduct differential analysis of physical factors of influence within the airport impact area and evaluate the negative trends for exposed animals. The physical factors were divided into the physical objects and physical fields. The assessment of these factors was based on the data obtained using special metering equipment for measuring the level of noise, light and electro-magnetic pollution, while the intensity of visual pollution and fragmentation effects by airport infrastructure were evaluated using qualitative approach. The airport facilities itself and ground access infrastructure are showed as the causes of habitat destruction by barrier and edge effects, as well as structural transformations of landscapes, in particular, relief and phytocenosis. The impact of physical fields coming from the airport territory is formed by light, vibration and electro-magnetic pollution. The intensity of considered factors is different, but the sensitivity of laboratory animals to these factors is high enough to cause a range of effects. However, the methods for mitigation of some other airport impacts can exacerbate the value of the existing sources of impacts. The light pollution is measured and defined as the most significant and damaging. Thus, there is a clear need to pay attention to the interactions between an airport and wildlife to reduce the intensity of negative effects. The predicted and described effects for wildlife could be very diverse, but they need verification by field surveys in the impacts areas of airports is highlighted.
Keywords: structural / animals / sources / impacts areas / airport impacts / habitat / airport impact area / diverse / surveys

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