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App Helps Minimize Waterbird Disturbance

App Helps Minimize Waterbird Disturbance

Image source: www.tide-toolbox.eu

A new mobile app can help calculate how construction noise and other factors will affect waterbirds in protected areas and help with mitigation efforts.

The app, part of the Waterbird Disturbance Toolkit for the TIDE Project, is designed to help planners, developers, and managers in or near estuary systems to identify the potential disturbance to waterbirds from nearby construction activities.

“The way noise affects birds is complex and existing information was poor, so we set out to not only gather much-needed scientific data but also make it useful and accessible to a range of users. As such, the app has both research and applied applications.

Bird populations and their continued protection are potentially a major planning issue for those working on construction projects in protected areas such as estuaries, we hope this app will give them a clear and quick indication of how they can work without disturbing local wildlife.” – Nick Cutts, deputy director of the University of Hull’s Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies

The app includes a mapping function, a guide to the main bird species that may be affected (and information on which times of the year the disturbances are most likely to affect them), and examples of measures that can be used to minimize the impacts on wildlife. The Waterbird Disturbance Toolkit isn’t meant to replace current methods for assessing and monitoring environmental impacts, but to help guide the process of identifying potential construction disturbances for waterfowl.

The app is free for Android phones and PCs, and can be downloaded via the TIDE website.

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