Drilling and mining operations that create large tailings ponds are particularly hazardous to migratory birds and wildlife. Animals are naturally attracted to the water sources, which often contain dissolved minerals that are lethal to birds and animals. A growing number of governments are instituting large fines and penalties for mining operations that fail to implement measures preventing wildlife access to toxic tailing ponds.
Costly penalties, bad publicity associated with harming wildlife, and the ineffectiveness of legacy deterrents highlight the need for safer, more effective wildlife preservation and control solutions.
Originally developed for defense and public safety applications, more than 225 LRAD systems have been deployed around the world to more effectively preserve and control wildlife. Featuring advanced directionality and several volume settings, LRAD is easily programmed to broadcast a wide variety of tones and predator calls to safely deter wildlife at distances in excess of 3,000 meters and ensure against habituation.
Remotely operated LRAD systems integrated with avian radar are being used in several locations to automatically prevent bird landings and wildlife incursions into hazardous water and waste areas.
LRAD and avian radar partner, DeTect, Inc. were recognized by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) during their 2012 Responsible Canadian Energy Awards ceremony when it presented its President’s Award to Canadian Natural Resources Limited for their Horizon Oil Sands Wildlife Management System.
“The Responsible Canadian Energy Awards is our means of recognizing leadership among our members in delivering environmental, social and health and safety performance,” said Dave Collyer, CAPP’s President. “These awards shine a light on successful projects, and the people working hard on them, to demonstrate and encourage continuous performance improvement.”
Since 2009, Horizon Oil Sands has operated a leading-edge bird deterrent program to prevent mortalities related to the Horizon External Tailings Facility (ETF). The Merlin Detect and Deter system was deployed at the Horizon ETF utilizing technology originally developed for aircraft bird strike prevention. Radar-controlled LRAD systems and lasers prevent birds from landing on tailing waste ponds. The Merlin Detect and Deter system demonstrated 97.5% efficiency in deterring birds approaching the ETF. The system has proven highly effective with zero bird mortalities occurring in 2010 and 2011.
Contact LRAD Corporation for more information