It’s a bird, it’s a plane... and that’s the problem


At the airport serving the Brazilian city of Salvador, vultures surpass terrorism as a security threat. The birds frequent 11 open-air dumps that have sprung up around the city, and increasingly they have crossed paths with incoming and outbound planes. Salvador’s problem is not unique. Reported collisions between airplanes and birds in Brazil have more than doubled in a decade—from 166 in 1994 to 441 last year. The actual number is probably far higher; officials estimate fewer than a quarter are reported. While the collisions involve various types of birds, the black vulture (Coragyps atratus) accounts for more than half of the accidents in which the species is identified, officials say. To some extent, the problem reflects a pattern evident around the world... [Log in to read more]

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