Bird strike cases on the rise, Swansea university experts warn

Greylag geese in flight Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Bird strikes usually happen within 100 metres (328ft) from the ground, the experts found

Bird strikes with aircraft and other man-made structures are on the increase, experts have warned.

Academics from Swansea University and Argentina's National University of Comahue said more than 200 people have died in aircraft collisions with birds.

They call for better management of "crowded" airspace and creating "airspace reserves" to protect birds.

Damaged aircraft from bird strikes costs the US aviation industry $900m (£580m) annually, said the experts.

The study published in Science said that the increasing using of airspace for transportation, energy generation such as power lines and turbines as well as surveillance was in conflict with wildlife.

Prof Rory Wilson and Dr Emily Shepard from Swansea University's Department of Biosciences said disturbances to airflow has an impact on the distribution of birds and affects aerial micro-organisms which could, in turn, have an effect on the climate.

Prof Wilson said: "It is interesting to note that more is known about the routes of migrating animals that cross continents than those taken by animals in parks or towns.

"But detailed data on how animals use space is now needed which can help guide local planning decisions, building designs and measures that protect our wildlife."

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