Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Belant, Jerrold L.

Committee Member

Martin, James A.

Committee Member

DeVault, Travis L.

Committee Member

Wang, Guiming

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Wildlife collisions with U.S. civil aircraft (hereafter incidents) pose safety and economic concerns. Terrestrial mammals represented only 2.3% of wildlife incidents, but 59% of these incidents caused damage to aircraft. I examined 2,558 incidents in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Wildlife Strike Database to characterize and analyze overall mammal incidents by airport type, emphasizing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and bat incidents with U.S. civil aircraft. Mammal incidents caused 5 times greater damage than other wildlife which varied by airport type and appeared associated with species’ behavior. I provided relative hazard scores to determine which species were most hazardous to aircraft. Relative hazard increased with increasing body mass with mule deer (O. hemionus), white-tailed deer and domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) most hazardous to aircraft. White-tailed deer caused 6 times greater damage than all other wildlife and are hazardous to aircraft. In contrast, bats posed a low hazard to aircraft.



wildlife strike||wildlife-aircraft incident||United States||mammals||aviation hazard||airport management||airport