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Análise do efeito das condições meteorológicas, superficiais e antropogênicas sobre atividade de voo do Urubu-de-cabeça-preta (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) por meio de SIG e sensoriamento remoto e suas implicações para a redução do risco de colisões com aeronaves

Tese apresentada ao Instituto de Biologia da Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) para a obtenção do título de Mestrado em Ecologia

Natalia Novoselova

Resumo

O incremento do número de colisões de aeronaves com pássaros perto de aeroportos, causado principalmente pelo aumento do tráfego de aeronaves juntamente com o crescimento de populações de aves, são um grande problema para muitos países em todo mundo. Os programas de pesquisas nacionais dedicados à elaboração dos métodos de redução do número de colisões com aves foram lançados em vários países.

A maioria das colisões entre aeronaves e pássaros ocorre durante os processos de decolagem e desembarque de aviões dentro da zona de 10 - 20 km ao redor de aeroportos, onde os aviões voam em altitude baixa. No Brasil este problema também é grave e urgente. O urubu-de-cabeça-preta (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) é uma das espécies mais abundantes nos arredores de aeroportos brasileiros e, ao mesmo tempo, a espécie que causa a maioria das colisões de aviação com pássaros no Brasil. Geralmente os urubus voam em bandos sobre as térmicas (os fluxos de ar ascendentes) durante as horas do dia, subindo a altitudes que trazem perigo para os aviões. Devido ao seu grande tamanho e às características comportamentais, os métodos gerais de controle não funcionam contra esta espécie. Esses conflitos provocam a necessidade de elaboração de abordagens eficazes que sejam capazes de diminuir o risco de colisões com urubus sem dano às populações destas aves.

Nossa investigação foi dedicada ao aperfeiçoamento da elaboração de métodos que permitam reduzir o risco de colisões de aeronaves com urubus. Ela teve duas partes distintas consideradas em dois capítulos. Na primeira parte (Capítulo II) nós estudamos a relação entre a atividade de voos de urubus e as características meteorológicas. Na segunda parte (Capítulo III) nós exploramos a dependência da atividade de voo de urubus das condições superficiais e antrópicas. O estudo de ambas as partes foi implementado nos arredores de dois aeroportos do sudeste do Brasil, escolhidos como áreas modelo.

Nós desenvolvemos as novas abordagens metodológicas combinadas de SIG e Sensoriamento remoto com tecnologias para processamento de dados espaciais, que foram utilizadas na nossa investigação como o instrumento de pesquisa principal. Por meio destas metodologias nós juntamos aos bancos de dados georreferenciados (shape files) os dados de observação de urubus e de três tipos de fatores ambientais: (i) condições meteorológicas coletadas juntamente com as observações de urubus; (ii) características superficiais (temperatura superficial e relevo) obtidas a partir de produtos de imagens ASTER; (iii) parâmetros de pressão humana e tipo de cobertura superficial obtidos a partir de imagens de satélite de resolução alta. Através das análises dos bancos de dados georreferenciados foi estudada a relação entre a atividade de voo de urubus e os fatores ambientais. Bem como foram revelados os padrões comportamentais das aves em voo planado, os tipos de paisagem altamente atrativas para urubus e as grandes concentrações destas aves sobre eles. A partir dessas informações foram construídos mapas de avaliação do risco de colisão entre urubus e aeronaves nos arredores dos aeroportos e feitas recomendações práticas sobre a sua diminuição.

Nossos resultados mostraram que a altitude de voo planado dos urubus varia entre 13 a 550 metros. Existem dois padrões temporais de voo planado dos urubus: um apresentando um platô na maior parte do dia e outro com dois picos distintos, de manhã e à tarde, com uma queda notável entre eles. Em ambos os padrões, a atividade de voo tem início cerca de 1 - 1,5 horas após o amanhecer e se encerra cerca de 1 - 1,5 horas antes do poente. O forte stress antropogênico em combinação com uma área urbana grande e contínua torna-se um fator negativo para os urubus, ocasionando uma redução no número de urubus voando. Em contraste, zonas urbanas pequenas, cercada por territórios naturais e rurais, são muito atraentes para estas aves. Corpos d'água e rodovias são elementos da paisagem atraentes para urubus em voo. Foi confirmada a hipótese de que urubus tendem a planar mais sobre as térmicas mais fortes em seus arredores.

Acreditamos que os resultados da nossa investigação e as novas metodologias elaboradas ajudarão a desenvolver métodos eficazes para a redução do número de colisões de aeronaves com urubus e outras aves nos aeroportos brasileiros.

 

The analysis of dependence of soaring Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) distribution over the surface from environmental conditions and estimation of risk of aircraft collision with these birds. Part I. The soaring behaviour of Black vulture and its dependence on meteorological conditions.

  In preparation

Novoselova N.S., Novoselov A. A. Silva W. R.

Institute of Biology, UNICAMP

 

Abstract

The increasing risk for aircrafts of collision with Black vulture with impossibility of reduction this threat by traditional methods leads the necessity of special measures that would reduce this hazard and will not harm to birds. To elaborate these methods, the environmental factors affecting the density of soaring Black vulture over the area must be detected. The risk of collision with vultures over the airports surroundings with a radius of 10-20 km from the airport should be numerically estimated and mapped.

Our investigation was devoted to achievement of these objectives. It had two parts. In the first part we studied the relationship between soaring activity of Black vulture and meteorological factors. In the second part we explored the influence on soaring activity of superficial and anthropogenic factors. The both parts were implemented within surroundings of two airports of southeast of Brazil taken as case studies.

We developed of new methodological approaches combining application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for data processing, which were used as the main research instrument. By dint of them we joined in the georeferenced databases the data of bird's census and three types of environmental factors: meteorological characteristics collected together with the bird’s observation, superficial parameters and parameters of anthropogenic stress revealed from the satellite images. Basing on the georeferenced databases the relationship between soaring activity of vultures and environmental factors was analyzed; the behavioral traits of birds in soaring foraging flight were revealed; the landscape types highly attractive for species and forming the increased concentration of birds over them were detected; the maps giving the numerical estimation of hazard of bird strike events over the airport vicinities were constructed; the practical recommendations devoted to decrease the risk of collisions aircrafts with vultures were formulated

Here we consider the results of the first part of our investigation. We revealed that intensity of soaring flights of vultures showed the significant dependence from solar activity and wind speed parameters, which was interpreted as the dependence of soaring activity of vultures from strength of thermals. This finding proved that Black vulture tends to choose for soaring flights the strongest thermals in surrounding. Air temperature, air humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind direction did not affect the soaring activity of vultures. Seasonality effect on it notably, but the character of its influence depends from level of anthropogenic stress. The altitudes of soaring flight of vultures range from 13 to 550 m, the height up to 300 m is the most probable. The period of soaring activity lasts from 1 - 1.5 hours after local sunrise to 1 - 1.5 hours before local sunset. There were two types of daily variation of soaring activity: plateau-like plot and plot of two peaks at morning and afternoon with a notable drop within them. Abundant food on the ground attract vultures from huge surrounds which leads to complete disappearance of soaring birds above the large area.

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The analysis of dependence of soaring Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) distribution over the surface from environmental conditions and estimation of risk of aircraft collision with these birds. Part II. The soaring foraging behaviour of Black vulture (Coragyps atratus, athartidae) and its dependence on superficial and anthropogenic conditions in the southeast of Brazil

  In preparation

Novoselova N.S., Novoselov A. A. Silva W. R.

Institute of Biology, UNICAMP

 

Abstract

The increasing risk for aircrafts of collision with Black vulture with impossibility of reduction this threat by traditional methods leads the necessity of special measures that would reduce this hazard but will not harm to birds. To elaborate these methods, the environmental factors affecting the density of soaring Black vulture over the area must be detected. The risk of collision with vultures over the airports surroundings with a radius of 10-20 km from the airport should be numerically estimated and mapped.

Our investigation was devoted to achievement of these objectives. It had two parts. In the first part we studied the relationship between soaring activity of Black vulture and meteorological factors. In the second part we explored the influence on soaring activity of superficial and anthropogenic factors. The both parts were implemented within surroundings of two airports of southeast of Brazil taken as case studies

We developed of new methodological approaches combining application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for data processing, which were used as the main research instrument. By dint of them we joined in the georeferenced databases the data of bird's census and three types of environmental factors: meteorological characteristics collected together with the bird’s observation, superficial parameters and parameters of anthropogenic stress revealed from the satellite images. Basing on the georeferenced databases the relationship between soaring activity of vultures and environmental factors was analyzed; the behavioral traits of birds in soaring foraging flight were revealed; the landscape types highly attractive for species and forming the increased concentration of birds over them were detected; the maps giving the numerical estimation of hazard of bird strike events over the airport vicinities were constructed; the practical recommendations devoted to decrease the risk of collisions aircrafts with vultures were formulated.

Here we consider the results of the second part of our investigation. We found that gradient (or contrast) of surface temperature affected significantly on the intensity of soaring flights of vultures. Basing on the properties of thermals, it was interpreted as the dependence of soaring activity of vultures from thermals strength. Also it confirmed the hypothesis stating that Black vultures tend to choose for soaring foraging flight the strongest thermals in surroundings. Water bodies and automobile roads were detected as the most attractive surface objects for soaring vultures. Human stress also demonstrated the notable influence on soaring activity. The number of soaring birds showed the inverse ratio with the area of uninterrupted highly urbanized lands together with their negative impact on the environment. The relief parameters (altitude above sea level, slope exposure and slope inclination) did not show any notable influence on soaring activity of vultures. The maps giving a numerical estimation of risk of collision with vultures over the territory were constructed. The practical recommendations and suggestions of reduction the number of aircraft’s collisions with vultures were formulated basing on the results of investigation.

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The elaborated methods of combined application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for reveal relationship between distribution of flying birds and environmental factors

  In preparation

Novoselova N.S., Silva W. R.

Institute of Biology, UNICAMP

 

Introduction

The increasing number of aircraft collisions with birds near airports, caused by attractive human activities and rising concerns about nature, are a big problem for many countries all over the world. The most of collisions occur during takeoffs and landings operations within zone of 10-20 km around the airports, where aircrafts fly at low altitudes. For reduction the numbers of bird strike events the national research programs have been launched in several countries. The international committees devoted to solution of this problem were created (Buurma, 1999; Kelly, 2005; Herricks, 2005). Since the bird strike problem has a global international character, it is very important to join forces in its solution. First of all it is necessary to elaborate methods allowing to investigate factors caused the concentration of flying birds over the territory; to estimate, predict and map the risk of collision over the area; to clean the sky from flying birds from the most critical lands.

We elaborated a set of novel methodological approaches of data processing, basing on the combined application of GIS and remote sensing technologies, which will be helpful for the listed purposes. They allow to numerically estimate and cartographically visualize the risk of aircraft collisions with birds above the airports vicinities (or any other territory), as well as to study the relationships between intensity of bird’s flights over the area and various superficial, atmospheric and anthropogenic characteristics of this territory.

Here we consider the general principles of the elaborated methods and stages of their implementation for data processing in our investigation, which illustrate the capabilities of the approaches

A fear of predators as a factor determining the length of beaver’s (Castor Fiber) feeding routes

 download PDF in Russian  Russian Journal of Zoology, 2008, V. 87, No2, pp. 226 - 230

L. M. Baskin, N. S. Novoselova

Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences

 

Summary

The research was done at the east of Kostroma Region of Russia in 2002 – 2004. During the field observations 40 rivers and streams were examined. The total length of the hiking routes made along the riverbeds is 247 km. The studies in the area with a high number of wolves showed that beavers select water streams deeper than 40 cm. If a water body is shallow, beavers construct dams that elevate the water level at a distance of about 270 m upstream from the dam. On some streams and canals beavers built a cascade from dams, which elevate the water level along a large length of stream (1050 m and more).

From 6882 examined beaver’s cuts 65,5% were cuts of aspen; 13,8% - birch; 10,4% - willow; 4,5% - teil; 1.9 - mountain ash; 1,7% - alder; 1,4% - bird cherry tree and 0,9% - of other species. 81,7% of all these beaver’s cuts had a diameter of trunk less that 10 cm. 99% of beaver’s cuts were found at a distance less than 20 m from the shore, 90%— at a distance less than 13 m. In Germany (Brandenburg region), where predators of beavers are absent, 99% and 90% of cuts were found at distances less than 45 m and 26 m, respectively.

A comparison with data of other researchers allows to conclude that the beaver’s alertness, which is characterized by a distance of moving away from water, depends on the number of predators. The hypothesis according to which beavers use thicker trees growing closer to water (to reduce the time of being on land) and thinner trees farther from water has not been confirmed.

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Russian Journal of Zoology - the scientific refereed journal of Russian Academy of Science for publication research materials in different fields of Zoology. The journal is included in the List of the Higher Certifying Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

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Dynamics of the Southern Borders of Brown Bears Range in European Russia

 download PDF in Russian  Reports of Russian Academy of Science, Series Geographical,2008, V.3 No3. pp. 81 - 91

M.A. Vaisfeld*, L.M. Baskin**, Yu.P. Gubar***, V. Radeloff****, E.F. Sitnikova*****, N.S. Novoselova**

*Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences

**Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences

***FGU “Centrohotcontrol” (Russia)

****University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

*****Reserve “Brynsky Les” (Russia)

 

Summary

The research was implemented for territories along the south boundary of brown bear’s range which comprise from 529 administrative Districts of 19 administrative Regions of Russia.

From the revealed data of the brown bears numbers in 529 districts for the year 2006 and the literature data of southern borders’ locations in 1910-1920’s and 1960’s, the dynamics of the southern border of brown bear range in European Russia as well as the present conditions of brown bear populations in each of these 19 administrative regions were determined.

The advance of the present-day southern border of brown bears range to the southward in comparison with the past tense was found. The examples of successful establishment of the new bear’s populations were identified. Forest fragmentation as the leading factor of brown bear survival and distribution was confirmed. The maps of brown bear’s numbers and densities of brown bear’s populations in forest areas of administrative districts of the southern part of the Central European Russia were compiled.

The general recommendation for protection of brown bear and for restoration its local populations within southern borderland of its areal in European Russia were given.

In those recommendations we proposed to the Government the following: to improve of hunting management, to establish of regional refuges for brown bears preservation and to develop of the state complex program for protection and management of the brown bear population within southern borderland of its areal in European Russia.

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Reports of Russian Academy of Science, Series Geographical – the scientific refereed journal of Russian Academy of Science for publication a research material on problems of physical and economic geography. The journal is included in the List of the Higher Certifying Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

Forest Fragmentation as a Limiting Factor in Brown Bear Survival and Distribution in European Russia

 download PDF in Russian  The Abstract Volume of IV International Symposium “Dynamics of Games Animals Populations in Northern Europe”, Russia, Petrozavodsk, 2006, pp. 127 – 133.

N.S. Novoselova*, M.A. Vaisfeld**, L.M. Baskin*, Yu.P. Gubar***

*Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences

**Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences

***FGU “Centrohotcontrol” (Russia)

 

Summary

In European Russia brown bears are only found in forest areas. Since the end of XVI century, the southern edge of the brown bear range in Russia constantly retreated to the North following the decline of forest area. The decrease of bear’s number and the movement of the southern border of bear’s areal had continued until 1960’s. Next the bear’s number began to grow as well as the southern border began to move to the South. Between the end of 1960’s and the end of 1980’s the total bears' number within Russia had increased by 20 thousands individuals or by 18%. Between the 1995 and 2000 the bears' number began to reduce again because of the economical problems and deterioration of living standard in the country. However since 2000 the bears' number have stabilized and even begun to grow as well as the southern edge of the bear range have begun to move to the South.

To determine the present-day southern border of the brown bear’s range as well as a role of forest fragmentation and some anthropogenic factors for bear survival and distribution, the data from 529 administrative districts located along the south border in European Russia for the year 2006 have been examined.

The maps of present-day bears' number and the density in forest areas for the 529 administrative districts of the southern part of the Central European Russia were compiled. A comparison with the data of southern borders’ location in 1910-1920’s and 1960’s (that were taken from literature) allows to conclude that the present-day location of southern edge of bear’s areal have moved considerably to the southward from its location in 1960’s. In some places it have approximately reached its location in 1910-1920’s.

In southern borderland of the brown bear range the new localities with settled singles and female-bears with cubs have appeared. It is suggested that an expansion of brown bear range in southern direction would continue and the brown bear would occupy new forested territories.

In southern borderland bears inhabit the areas which are close to high populated territories. A small negative correlation (r=from -0,2 to -0,35) was found between densities of bear populations in forest areas of administrative district and the density of roads, the density of human settlements and the density of rural population of the same district.

A significant correlation (r=0,7) was found between densities of bear populations in forest areas of an administrative district and the areas of solid forest of the same district. A correlation between densities of bear populations in forest areas of a district and areas of fragmentation forest of the same district was only 0,3. It allows to conclude that the forest fragmentation is the leading factor of brown bear survival and distribution.

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The topical school lessons on Russian desman conservation

 download PDF in Russian  The Abstract Volume of the XV International Conference “Education for Sustainable Development” organized by Green Cross Russia, the International Independent Ecological-Political University and Green Cross International, June 27-28, 2009, Moscow, Russia.

N.S. Novoselova

Biodiversity Conservation Center

 

Summary

Saturation the Russian society of the ecological and environmental protection knowledge is far away from satisfactory level. Most of the people know nothing and care less about serious problems in the Environment. People disturbed by environmental degradation usually don’t know what they could do to improve the situation personally.

So, there is a need to develop many-sided ecological education for all sections of the population in Russia. Especially it is important for young people - preschoolers, schoolchildren and students. A good ecological and environmental protection knowledge for young generation is essential for forming the society with strong ecological values, each level of such a society being able to resolve ecological problems without harming the Nature.

Unfortunately these days the total situation with ecological education in Russia is hopeless. The level of training in the subjects related with ecology and environmental protection among schoolchildren and students have gone downhill. There is a lack of good contemporary text editions. In many Regions of the country ecological education is provided mostly by a few enthusiastic teachers during the facultative lessons.

That situation must be reclaimed. First of all, «Ecology» should be returned as a compulsory subject in schools. However until it hasn’t been done, a professional environmental protection organizations could develop ecological education in the country by their own means. In particular, they could work out good textbooks and study guides on ecology and environmental protection and distribute them among different education organizations.

In study guides oriented for schoolchildren, it is important not only to discuss things in general , but to attract children’s attention to the problems of one or a few concrete species of animals. Explain to children the causes of decrease in its number and areal; the methods of its restoration and conservation. Describe the activity of professional nature conservation organizations and individual people that protect this animal. Besides, tell children what each of them can do to save this animal or to solve other environmental problems. Invite teachers to organize a practical activity for children, related with some ecological problem in the nearest area (cleaning garbage in a forest, planting trees near school and so on). Such approach would be important for forming children's active position in regard to environmental problems. The position that provide in children and, when they grow up, in adults – the responsible attitude towards Nature.

There are different methods that could be used to develop ecological textbooks and study guides. One of these methods was tested by Biodiversity Conservation Center within “Save the Russian Desman!” project.

We developed an information package for providing school lessons concerning Russian desman and the problem of a decrease in its number and areal. It contained science-popular films and articles, science monographs, areal maps, recommendations for desman’s protection, a test for children, photographs and some other materials.

Additionally, in order to help teachers to prepare for these lessons, we organized and carried out the all-Russian competition “The lesson about Russian Desman” dedicated to working out professional projects of a school lesson for different ages about this rare species. The competition aroused a great interest among teachers. We received a large quantity of creative, professional and thematic diverse projects of a school lesson for different ages from many regions of Russia. The projects were accompanied with excellent presentations, training games and creative tasks.

The best of the lesson projects were included into the information package about Desman. The full information package was located on the website of Biodiversity Conservation Center. The information about the package “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” as well as about the possibility to receive a DVD disc containing the materials by post, free of charge, we distributed through mailing and in mass media.

No doubt, a similar method could be applied by different environmental protection organizations and educational departments of nature protected areas.

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Russian Desman (Desmana moschata L) - is a relict representative of the order Insectivore, that inhabit the river and lakes of the Russian Plain. It used to be a traditional hunting object until the middle of the 20th century. Then the desman hunting was forbidden and its number begin to grow. In 1970 desmans’s number was near 69 thousand individuals. But since 1970's the number and areal of this species have been decreasing. Now its total number not more than 25 thousand individuals. Many desman populations have completely disappeared. The main reason of reduce Desman’s population is the mass illegal use of fishing-line nets and electric rods.