A significant proportion of all occurrences reported to the
Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) involve aircraft striking
wildlife, especially birds. This report provides aviation
birdstrike and animal strike occurrence data for the period 1
January 2002 to 31 December 2009. It also describes the results of
an ATSB survey of aerodromes concerning current wildlife control

Reported birdstrikes have been generally increasing since 2002.
In 2009, there were 1,340 birdstrikes reported to the ATSB. For
high capacity aircraft operations, reported birdstrikes have
doubled from 2002 to 2009. However, taking into account an increase
in aircraft movements, this increase is modest and is probably
accounted for by a generally improving reporting culture within
this time.

Birdstrikes have increased for the period of study in every
Australian state and territory. Queensland, New South Wales, the
Northern Territory and Western Australia have the highest
birdstrike rates. The higher birdstrike numbers for Queensland and
the Northern Territory may be related to bird populations within
the tropics, while New South Wales has the highest number of major
aerodrome aircraft movements in Australia.

Most birdstrikes occur within the confines of aerodromes (less
than 5 km). Major and regional towered aerodromes had significantly
higher rates of reported birdstrikes than General Aviation Airport
Procedures (GAAP) aerodromes, and had considerably increasing rates
from 2002 to 2009. GAAP aerodrome birdstrike rates do not appear to
have changed.

Engine ingestion makes up 11 per cent of all birdstrike
occurrences in high capacity air transport for the 8- year period,
and the highest number of damaging birdstrikes occurs in high
capacity air transport. Birdstrikes causing multiple parts damaged
were not common throughout the period. General aviation had the
highest proportion of damaging birdstrikes, with almost 24 per cent
of birdstrikes causing damage. Aeroplane wings and helicopter rotor
blades are the most commonly damaged aircraft components across all
operational types, particularly in general aviation. There have
been eight occurrences from the period of 2002-2009 that have
resulted in serious aircraft damage, and four that have resulted in

The most common types of birds struck by aircraft were
lapwings/plovers, bats/flying foxes, galahs, and kites. Not
surprisingly, larger birds were more likely to result in aircraft

Animal strikes were relatively rare. High capacity air transport
had the highest average with 11.5 animal strikes per year, with
general aviation having the second highest average with 9.3 animal
strikes per year. The most common animals involved in strikes were
hares/rabbits, kangaroos, wallabies, and foxes/dogs. Damaging
strikes mostly involved kangaroos, wallabies and livestock.

Bird hazard control at aerodromes was found to be mostly related
to the control of grass height (short or long) and growing specific
plants or grass, and the daily or weekly use or auditory
deterrents, especially car horns and shotguns.

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