Analysis of Vertebrate Pest Control by Jim Hone

By Jim Hone

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Questionnaires have the advantage of being relatively easy to organise and cheap, though care is needed to ask the right questions. An important limitation is that not all those sent questionnaires respond. Schaefer, Andrews & Dinsmore (1981) reported that in Iowa only 39% of mailed questionnaires were returned. The low rate of return can be improved by sending a follow-up questionnaire to those who did not respond. Postcard surveys (method 2) involve sending a postcard to producers on which they submit periodic estimates of predation losses.

The various methods have their strengths and weaknesses. Schaefer et al. (1981) reported that questionnaire and postcard surveys gave similar results, except that a higher percentage of predation was attributed to coyotes in the questionnaire survey. This could, however, have been confounded with area effects, as the two study sites differed. They also reported differences in results between the questionnaire survey and domestic animal claims, and between the postcard survey and domestic animal claims.

3 Analysis Van Tets et al. (1977) reported that the damage to aircraft is proportional to the weight of the bird, and in theory to the square of the aircraft speed and the cube of the number of birds present. They noted that the probability of severe damage was higher with increasing altitude, as the aircraft speed was then greater, even though the probability of strike decreased with increasing altitude. The relationship between bird abundance and bird strikes reported by van Tets (1969) and van Tets et al.

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