Part of Integrated Wildlife Damage Management (IWDM), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS) Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Program Wildlife Biologist Michael Pacheco prepares pistol launcher that will send a two-inch noisemaking rocket into the air, hoping that it will drive an overhead vulture away and disperse its threat to the men and women in the jets taking off from Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) - Randolph, in San Antonio, TX, on April 21, 2020.
A bird of that size can easily take out a jet engine costing more than $250,000.and threaten the lives of the pilots. He loads firing caps that will ignite the rocket in the barrel of the gun.
While in the runway area, his tools of dissuasion and dispersal also include his presence, sounds of distressed birds, or bird of prey from a vehicle-mounted speaker, a green laser, and the remote firing of a propane cannon to simulate the sound of gunfire. If all else fails and using another runway is not an option, then he has a choice of three firearms that can be used for a persistent safety threat in the air or on the ground. Sparing use of lethal force helps to reinforce the non-lethal methods.
For more information and related videos, PLEASE see the APHIS-Integrated Wildlife Damage Management at JBSA Randolph album description at flic.kr/s/aHsmN6DtGH.
USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
. Original public domain image from Flickr